PDF/EPUB Rita Cameron ✓ Ophelias Muse PDF/EPUB ¶ ✓

Ophelia's Muse depicts the passionate but doomed romance between the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood painter Dante Rossetti and his model muse and wife Lizzie SiddalI'll never want to draw anyone else but you You are my muse Without you there is no art in meWith her pale luminous skin and cloud of copper colored hair nineteen year old Lizzie Siddal looks nothing like the rosy cheeked ideal of Victorian beauty Working in a London milliner's shop Lizzie stitches elegant bonnets destined for wealthier young women until a chance meeting brings her to the attention of painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti Enchanted both by her ethereal appearance and her artistic ambitions uite out of place for a shop girl Rossetti draws her into his glittering world of salons and bohemian soireesLizzie begins to sit for some of the most celebrated members of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood posing for John Everett Millais as Shakespeare's Ophelia for William Holman Hunt and especially for Rossetti who immortalizes her in countless paintings as his namesake's beloved Beatrice The passionate visions Rossetti creates on canvas are echoed in their intense affair But while Lizzie strives to establish herself as a painter and poet in her own right betrayal illness and addiction leave her struggling to save her marriage and her sense of selfRita Cameron weaves historical figures and vivid details into a complex unconventional love story giving voice to one of the most influential yet overlooked figures of a fascinating era a woman who is both artist and inspiration long gazed upon but until now never fully seen


10 thoughts on “Ophelias Muse

  1. says:

    A hauntingly beautiful debutIn Ophelia’s Muse the light of inspiration falls on the coppery red crown of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Siddal and Victorian London’s unconventional world of art beauty and romance Although sometimes outside the lines of facts and record this was a hauntingly beautiful novel that swept me back to a crucial time of the 19th century when restraints of culture were just beginning to loosen and discoveries in nature advancements of industry literature and art were all in fashion It is here that one wants to dream and hope for a better tomorrow and it was here that this story captivated me with its poetic vibrant descriptions and stunners of characters Romance blooms in these pages and there were beautiful scenes that appealed to my old fashioned sense of love and devotion but there were also sharp jagged thorns of anguish and misfortune framing the corners of the chapters fascinating me at the same time and keeping me turning the pages wanting to learn about everything presented In the end Ophelia’s Muse is one memorable title that I would recommend to those readers who love elegantly crafted stories that can at times remind you of beloved classics set around this era that you still can’t stop thinking about and you hope to find similar toned books or novels that can beautifully capture the poignant shifting light of romance art and ominous twists of reality I would like to thank Kensington Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and enjoy Ophelia’s Musefor reviews see


  2. says:

    Purists may have some issues with a few things in the book Rossetti never exhibited in the Royal Academy yet he does in Ophelia’s Muse and it’s a pretty big plot point Also he is only ever referred to as Dante when we know from contemporary sources that family and close friends consistently called him Gabriel So if dramatic license in Pre Raphaelite inspired fiction is a sore spot for you this may be a hindrance to your enjoyment of the bookPre Raphaelite fiction always holds the possibility of bringing new fans to this rich artistic movement I feel confident that Ophelia’s Muse will do the same and I’m thrilled that Cameron’s readers may begin their own pursuits embarking on the search for the artists their works and their models Speaking from personal experience the Pre Raphaelite circle pulls you in like the rabbit hole that led Alice to Wonderland It is a never ending delight


  3. says:

    The Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood began as a reaction to the Royal Academy of Art and the academy's acceptance of what they thought of as staid art such as that of Joshua Reynolds or Turner Seeking the truth in painting the small group sought lovely models who to them represented purity The were rosy cheeked ladies with long flowing hair and soft lovely features that made them what the brotherhood coined as stunners Elizabeth Lizzie Siddal worked as a milliner at a hat shop Her family was poor Her father spent his life in a useless battle to obtain what he thought his rightful inheritance Because herr father's attempts were unfruitful Lizzie at 19 had to seek gainful employment Tall with grey eyes heavy lids and thick rich red hair she was spotted and was convinced to become a model This was not a suitable profession in Victorian England still she was drawn by the bohemian lifestyle the thrill of praise and of becoming one of the very first models for the small group of paintersDante Gabriel Rossetti John Everett Millias and William Hunt found her angel like and all of them in varying times used her as their modelHer family did not approve of her lifestyle and thus eventually she became the mistress of Rossetti A narcissistic cad he loved but used her and it wasn't until her near death that he married herHer image looks out from many Pre Raphaelite paintings but she is best know as the model in John Everett Millias'rendition of the love lost character of Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Lying in a tub of water lit by candles at the bottom of the tub soon Millias enraptured with his work forgot to continue to keep the water warmMany believe this led to Lizzie's poor health laudanum addiction and eventual deathForever captured on the canvas best known as one of the premier stunners her life was a sad one Forever desolate by Rossetti's refusal to marry and his continued cheating she overdosed on laudanum She was buried with Rossetti's book of poems and forever haunted himHiring men to dig her grave so that his poems could survive even in death he defiled herWhile Rita Cameron's portrayal is in novel form It is very obvious that she did a lot of research in painting Lizzie as a beautiful talented woman stuck in Victorian time forever a muse and stunner


  4. says:

    Elizabeth Siddel was born in 1829 to a family barely eking out a living in genteel poverty; a family prosperous a few generations past but no longer She is brought up to read and value books and art but is forced to spend her days working at a milliner’s shop making hats for fashionable ladies and turning her wages over to her mother But one day an opportunity arises; a young artist Walter Deverell comes into the shop with his mother and is taken by Lizzie’s beauty and her red hair He wants her to pose for him In those days artist’s models were considered no better than prostitutes freuently sleeping with the artist’s they sat for But an arrangement is made; a respectable female chaperon will be provided Lizzie will make far better wages than she does sewing hats and her job will be held open for her While sitting for Deverell his friend and fellow member of the newly formed pre Raphaelite Brotherhood Dante Gabriel Rossetti sees Lizzie and is smitten Her life takes a considerably less respectable turn after this Theirs’s was a relationship filled with obstacles Rossetti was from a well to do family and Lizzie’s situation was not acceptable to them even before she started sleeping with Rossetti Plus Rossetti felt that a wife would mean establishing a house and being conventional which would distract him from the art he was devoted to There were also issues of opiate addiction near constant infidelity and Lizzie’s isolation from her family once she became Rossetti’s mistress The brilliant artist Rossetti was in many ways a spoiled child These days his art redeems him but he could not have been an easy person to love This sounds like I’m giving away the whole plot but I’m not I knew these facts before I read the novel and it still absorbed me Lizzie and Dante came alive in these pages While the members of the PRB are fairly well known today the models still are not Life for women in that era was very circumscribed and anyone who stepped outside the lines of respectability had a very hard time of it The author describes things in detail without getting bogged down The clothing the art the houses all spring into the reader’s mind in full color The characters are rounded and real; there are no villains here just people trying to do the best they can A great fictionalized biography; anyone with interest in the pre Raphaelites should give this book a go


  5. says:

    45 starsbut I might up it to 5 starsI loved this book Cameron's writing was so beautiful and descriptive I ended up liking both of the main characters for who they were Neither was perfect but they were written so well that they were like real people with both good traits and some uite bad traits I was curious if Elizabeth Siddal was a real person and like a dork I googled her and then read her wikipedia page I recommend that you do NOT do that I'll just tell you that everyone in the book was real and as far as I could tell Cameron told an historically accurate tale about them I don't uite know what it was about this book but it was just lovely and delightful The writing the characters the historical detailsbut maybe it was Cameron's take on what Lizzie and Rossetti felt and thought You could believe it all being true Anywaaays I really enjoyed this book and I'm now curious to learn a little about the characters and art movements from the book Totally recommend this puppy D


  6. says:

    Ophelia's Muse by Rita Cameron was an enriching five star book about the artist Gabriel Rossetti his model Elizabeth SiddalThe fact that he postponed marrying her for so long was a reflection on the selfishness of his character He was too involved in establishing his art organization the Pre Raphaelite BrotherhoodI found it interesting to read a fictional account about the artist's works that have lasted since the mid 1800'sI would like to thank Kensington Books NetGalley for the complimentary kindle copy of this book in exchange for a fair review This did not influence my opinionLink to purchase


  7. says:

    While I do not often read biographies or other non fiction I am freuently intrigued by historical fiction Knowing vague facts about Lizzie Siddal and the Pre Raphelite Brotherhood I had to give this a shot It is definitely fiction than historical but still and all a good read Do not go into it thinking that it will be of the highest factual accuracy or you will just skim over it with disapproval Take it for what it is an interesting interpretation of some very fascinating peopleI received this book from NetGalley


  8. says:

    Rating 3 starsThis debut historical fiction novel by Rita Cameron tells the tale of the romance between Gabriel Dante Rossetti and Elizabeth Lizzie Siddall Note Rossetti usually spelled Lizzie’s last name as ‘Siddal’ on his artwork but her proper last name was Siddall Lizzie had started to garner attention when she began working as an artist’s model in 1849 She was twenty at the time and was working part time in a milliner’s shop to help supplement her earnings as a model Rossetti wasn’t the first artist to use her but once he discovered her he soon became obsessed with herBy 1851 put a stop to her working with any other Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood artists and reuired that she only pose for him He reportedly made thousands of paintings of her over the course of their life together They married in 1860 Theirs was a tumultuous relationship as Lizzie worked hard to become an artist painting and poetry in her own right she never achieved the acclaim that Rossetti did Cameron tells a good tale and sets the scene for the era and the s of the time really well This was a well written book that I enjoyed and would recommend to other readers looking to learn about rarely told period in art historyThank you to NetGalley; Kensington Publishing; and the author Rita Cameron; for providing a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


  9. says:

    The story is about a woman’s pursuit to find happiness love and security It is wonderfully written and the characters are very flawed I liked how the author portrays Victorian society and how society impacted the characters Ophelia’s Muse is a haunting lyrical and tragic tale reminiscent of Shakespeare 


  10. says:

    Enchanting Romantic Lovely Those words only begin to describe what a beautiful novel Ophelia’s Muse was This told about Lizzie Siddal a woman who posed for several renowned artists in the 1850s Lizzie not only appeared as the woman in the book’s cover art but also as the main figure in many famous works Although many authors have told the story of a naive woman becoming the muse and lover to an artist this tale really stood out Lizzie’s red hair caught the eye of a young painter and his offer to pay her to be his model elevated her from her position as a seamstress in a shop Lizzie’s desire to mingle with a higher level of society and find a husband who wouldn’t look down on her family’s misfortune and their simple lives prompted her to accept the offer I really began to like Lizzie once I realized that despite those dreams she was not a social climber or a man hunter Instead her love affair with the painter Rosetti led her down a path of promises lies and heartbreak The male artists Lizzie encountered were driven by lust and fame but still harbored a deep need to contribute to the world through paints and canvases Every character was motivated by such emotion that it was easy to become invested in themThe most striking thing about Ophelia’s Muse was the language use by Rita Cameron to tell this romantic tale Each sentence read like a line of poetry and the words evoked detailed settings that enhanced the characters After a few chapters I realized I was reading to continue experiencing the wonderfully full world Cameron imagined and less to see who would happen to Lizzie Not the plot was dull but this was not what I would call a plot driven novel Instead it was a romantic sensual love story complimented with art that offered an insightful glimpse into the Pre Raphael artist community I kept googling the paintings discussed to get the full experience of Lizzie’s life as a modelThe events took place over several years which allowed Lizzie to morph from an artist’s muse to an artist This story was so creative and entertaining This is a book I gushed over as I was reading Lovers of literature fine art and poetry would absolutely love this book as much as I did Here’s a link to a copy Ophelia’s Muse Please read of my reviews on my blog follow me on twitter at danaheyde