Dinah Roe

Rossetti Attempts to Lead Tennyson Astray

In the autumn of 1855, the forty six year-old Alfred Tennyson read his new poem Maud outloud to a small literary audience at Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s London home. Listeners included the Rossetti brothers. Gabriel produced a spontaneous pen and ink sketch which showed the poet seated on a couch, reading from a small book in his right hand. The affectionate yet irreverent sketch reveals Rossetti’s feelings toward the Poet Laureate, which were a mixture of envy and admiration. After this recital, Tennyson recklessly allowed himself to be escorted home by the twenty seven year-old Gabriel Rossetti. The age gap began to show around High Holborn, when Tennyson remarked on the abundance of cabs crowded round the Casino de Venice. What, he wondered, was going on inside?

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Pre-Raphaelites in the City

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This blog explores the thriving Victorian cities which inspired the Pre-Raphaelites, and were shaped by them in turn. While the Pre-Raphaelites produced poetry and art praising the natural world, most were born and raised in urban environments, and their work retained a cosmopolitan sensibility. Although this blog will sometimes take excursions into the countryside, its focus will remain on city life. If you want more information on images or sources, please get in touch.

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