“Strong Traivelling”: Re-visions of Women’s Subjectivity and Female Labor in the Ballad-work of Elizabeth Siddal

“Strong Traivelling”: Re-visions of Women’s Subjectivity and Female Labor in the... JILL R. EHNENN lizabeth Siddal's work as a painter and poet has been eclipsed by the fame attributed to her face and her misfortune. Apocryphal tales of the beautiful Pre-Raphaelite model recount many of her ill-fated life events: her pneumonia, contracted while posing in a bathtub for Millais's Ophelia; her unhappy relationship with D. G. Rossetti, who painted her obsessively; her years of illness, drug addiction, and depression; her tragic death (or suicide) in 1862 from an overdose of laudanum, possibly as the result of postpartum depression following the birth of a stillborn child; and Rossetti's exhumation of her coffin in 1869 to retrieve manuscripts he had buried with her in a fit of guilt and grief.1 These anecdotes, however, do not do justice to the creative work of a woman whose life included landmarks beyond her shift from dressmaker to fine art model and who possessed many talents beyond her delicate pallor, striking beauty, and long, red hair.2 In 1854, Elizabeth Siddal began to plan paintings of "Clerk Saunders" and several other ballads from Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1803), intending them for an illustrated ballad collection to be edited by William Allingham. Although the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Victorian Poetry West Virginia University Press

“Strong Traivelling”: Re-visions of Women’s Subjectivity and Female Labor in the Ballad-work of Elizabeth Siddal

Victorian Poetry, Volume 52 (2) – Jul 20, 2014

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 West Virginia University.
ISSN
1530-7190
Publisher site
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Abstract

JILL R. EHNENN lizabeth Siddal's work as a painter and poet has been eclipsed by the fame attributed to her face and her misfortune. Apocryphal tales of the beautiful Pre-Raphaelite model recount many of her ill-fated life events: her pneumonia, contracted while posing in a bathtub for Millais's Ophelia; her unhappy relationship with D. G. Rossetti, who painted her obsessively; her years of illness, drug addiction, and depression; her tragic death (or suicide) in 1862 from an overdose of laudanum, possibly as the result of postpartum depression following the birth of a stillborn child; and Rossetti's exhumation of her coffin in 1869 to retrieve manuscripts he had buried with her in a fit of guilt and grief.1 These anecdotes, however, do not do justice to the creative work of a woman whose life included landmarks beyond her shift from dressmaker to fine art model and who possessed many talents beyond her delicate pallor, striking beauty, and long, red hair.2 In 1854, Elizabeth Siddal began to plan paintings of "Clerk Saunders" and several other ballads from Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1803), intending them for an illustrated ballad collection to be edited by William Allingham. Although the

Journal

Victorian PoetryWest Virginia University Press

Published: Jul 20, 2014

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