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y separately published work icon Beauty in Thorns single work   novel   historical fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Beauty in Thorns
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The Pre-Raphaelites were obsessed with liberating art and love from the shackles of convention. Dante Gabriel Rossetti was the self-professed leader of the mysterious brotherhood of young men who were convinced they could change the world.

'Rossetti was smitten with his favourite model, Lizzie Siddal. Lizzie had dreams of becoming an artist herself; however, gripped by jealousy at her lover’s perceived infidelities she was falling prey to a laudanum addiction.

Gabriel’s friend Ned Jones had never had any artistic training and his family wanted him to be a parson. Only young Georgie Macdonald – the daughter of a Methodist minister – understood.

'Their Pre-Raphaelite brother William ‘Topsy’ Morris fell head-over-heels for a ‘stunner’ from the slums. Seventeen-year-old Janey Burden had a wild, dark beauty. She would become Morris’ wife, but Gabriel’s most famous model.

'Years later, cuckolded by the man he had hero-worshipped, Topsy turned to Georgie for comfort. She too was suffering. Soon after the birth of their daughter Margot, Ned had begun an ardent liaison with his model. Scandal threatened to destroy them all.

'Inspired by this true story of passionate women and men who believed that the beauty of art did make the every day life of all citizens more satisfying, Beauty in Thorns is a novel about awakenings of all kinds.'

Source: Publisher's blurb,

Notes

  • Epigraph:

    'I wish it were possible to explain the impression made upon me as a young girls whose experience so far had been quite remote from art, by sudden and close intercourse with those to whom it was the breath of life.

    'The only approach I can make to describing it is by saying that I felt in the presence of a new religion. Their love of beauty did  not seem to me unbalances, but as if it  included the whole world and raised the point from which they regarded everything.

    'Human beauty especially was in a way sacred to them, I thought; and of this I received confirmation quite lately from a lady ... 'I never saw such men,' she said; 'it was being in a new world to be with them. I sat to them and was with them, and they were different to everyone else I ever knew. And I was a holy thing to them.'

    Lady Georgina Burne-Jones

    Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones, Volume I

  • Other formats: Also large print.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Random House Australia , 2017 .
      image of person or book cover 8558974596514374881.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 480p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 3 July 2017.

      ISBN: 9781925324242 (trade paperback), 9781925324266 (ebook)
    • North Sydney, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Vintage Australia , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 792364806738367678.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 465p.
      Note/s:
      • Published July 16, 2018

      ISBN: 9781925324259

Works about this Work

Women, Beauty and Art in Kate Forsyth’s Beauty in Thorns Tessa Wooldridge , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Thoughts from an Idle Hour 2015-;

'Kate Forsyth’s Beauty in Thorns begins with an exchange between two of the novel’s major characters – Georgiana (Georgie) Macdonald and the man she will later marry, Edward (Ned) Burne-Jones. Their conversation centres on the tale of Sleeping Beauty.

'The fairy story is key to Forsyth’s narrative. As the novel unfolds, Ned paints the beautiful princess over and over again. First, it is Georgie who poses as the sleeping beauty; then, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Siddal. Later still, Ned’s mistress Maria Zambaco plays the part; and, finally, his daughter Margot poses for Ned’s Briar Rose series.

'Women. Beauty. Art. Motifs that repeat in the novel like a William Morris wallpaper.'

Women, Beauty and Art in Kate Forsyth’s Beauty in Thorns Tessa Wooldridge , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Thoughts from an Idle Hour 2015-;

'Kate Forsyth’s Beauty in Thorns begins with an exchange between two of the novel’s major characters – Georgiana (Georgie) Macdonald and the man she will later marry, Edward (Ned) Burne-Jones. Their conversation centres on the tale of Sleeping Beauty.

'The fairy story is key to Forsyth’s narrative. As the novel unfolds, Ned paints the beautiful princess over and over again. First, it is Georgie who poses as the sleeping beauty; then, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Siddal. Later still, Ned’s mistress Maria Zambaco plays the part; and, finally, his daughter Margot poses for Ned’s Briar Rose series.

'Women. Beauty. Art. Motifs that repeat in the novel like a William Morris wallpaper.'

Last amended 19 Oct 2018 08:56:49
Settings:
  • London,
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    England,
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    United Kingdom (UK),
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    Western Europe, Europe,
  • Oxford, Oxfordshire,
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    England,
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    United Kingdom (UK),
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    Western Europe, Europe,
  • c
    United Kingdom (UK),
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    Western Europe, Europe,
  • 1852-1898
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