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Marriage of Inconvenience

Marriage of Inconvenience

By (author) Robert Brownell


  • 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

“A page turner, even for those familiar with the subject…The surprising truth that emerges is no less human, and no less revealing about the Victorians than the myths; on the contrary it gives a far more compelling insight into what relationships, family and money really mean.” — Country Life

“Ruskin’s marriage was doomed from the start, but not for the reason most people think, argues this well-researched book.” — The Times

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 (to be released in 2013) 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 specializing in Victorian art and aesthetics, particularly Ruskin and Morris.

Pallas Athene
27th Jul 2023
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
6.1 in x 9.25 in
600 Pages
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