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Alumni Come Together for New Publication

Posted on 24 January 2023

A former and current student who met at a conference have now produced a book, which emerged from the conference!

Book cover featuring painting 'The Little Foot Page': a woman with long hair with an anxious expression in a forest

Former MA student Robert Wilkes (who went on to obtain a PhD at Oxford Brookes) and PhD student Glenda Youde (who graduated last week) met at the Pre-Raphaelite Sisters conference at University of York in December 2019, and have now gone on to edit "Pre-Raphaelite Sisters: Art, Poetry and Female Agency in Victorian Britain."

From the publisher: 

This is the first edited collection of essays entirely devoted to the women of  the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite Sisters exhibition and conference of 2019–20, the individual essays present new research into the wide-ranging creativity of the Pre-Raphaelite women.

Artistic subjects include Evelyn De Morgan’s goldwork paintings and her experiments with automatic writing. Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, Mary Seton Watts and Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale are also examined. Elizabeth Siddal’s relationship with her sister-in-law Christina Rossetti is explored, as is her appropriation of the Pre-Raphaelite principle of «truth to nature».

Women’s writing is addressed, extracting Georgiana Burne-Jones from the memoir of her husband and reassessing the book of fairy tales she planned with Siddal. Fashion history informs an analysis of the sartorial practices of Jane Morris and Siddal, while the influence exerted by the Siddal–Rossetti relationship on a prominent Czech artist demonstrates how women initiated the spread of Pre-Raphaelite ideals in Europe. More personalised accounts of engaging with and recovering women in history include the painstaking genealogical research undertaken by the great-grandson of model Fanny Eaton and the curation of a Siddal exhibition at Wightwick Manor.

Huge congratulations to Glenda and Robert!