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Sketch of artist's model Effie Gray, on beige cover, 'Marriage of Inconvenience', in red font below.

Marriage of Inconvenience

By (author) Robert Brownell


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  • A dazzlingly researched investigation into the extraordinary truth of the most scandalous love triangle of the 19th century, between John Ruskin, Effie Gray and John Everett Millais
Full Description

Effie Gray was an innocent victim of a male-dominated society, repressed and mistreated. Or was she? John Ruskin, the greatest art critic and social reformer of his time, was a callous misogynist and upholder of the patriarchy. Or was he? John Everett Millais, boy genius, rescued the heroine from the tyrannical clutches of the husband who left his wedding unconsummated for six years. Or did he? What really happened in the most scandalous love triangle of the 19th century? Was it all about impotence and pubic hair? Or was it about money, power and freedom? If so, whose? And what possibilities were there for these young people caught in a world racked by social, financial and political turmoil? The accepted story of the Ruskin marriage has never lost its fascination. History books, novels, television series, operas and now a star-filled film by Emma Thompson have all followed this standard line. It seems to offer an easy take on the Victorians and how we have moved on. But the story isn’t true.

In Marriage of Inconvenience Robert Brownell uses extensive documentary evidence – much of it never seen before, and much of it hitherto suppressed – to reveal a story no less fascinating and human, no less illuminating about the Victorians and far more instructive about our own times, than the myths that have grown up about the most notorious marriage of the 19th century.

About the Author

Robert Brownell is a freelance writer and lecturer specialising in Victorian art and aesthetics, particularly Ruskin and Morris.

Pallas Athene
5th Apr 2023
235 mm x 155 mm
600 Pages
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