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Ophelia s Muse depicts the passionate but doomed romance between the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood painter Dante Rossetti and his model, muse, and wife, Lizzie Siddal I ll never want to draw anyone else but you You are my muse Without you there is no art in me With 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 quite 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 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 manyfamous 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, 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 manyfamous 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 them.The 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 readingto 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 model.The 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 readof my reviews on my blog follow me on twitter at danaheyde 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 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 learnabout 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 realityI would like to thank Kensington Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and enjoy Ophelia s Muse forreviews see 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 book.Pre Raphaelite fiction always holds the possibil 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 book.Pre 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 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 famil 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 painters.Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millias and William Hunt found her angel like and all of them, in varying times, used her as their model.Her 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 her.Her 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 warm.Many believe this led to Lizzie s poor health, laudanum addiction and eventual death.Forever 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 him.Hiring men to dig her grave so that his poems could survive, even in death, he defiled her.While 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