Tuesday, August 13, 2013

E is for Effie Gray

ABC Wednesday
August 14th, 2013

The letter is E

The choice is Effie Gray


Effie Gray, painted by Thomas Richmond
 
I came to Ruskin early in my reading life but somehow, now, I have just discovered his wife,
Euphemia Chalmers Gray
 
Born in Perth, Scotland, she lived in Bowerswell, where her family was acquainted
with John Ruskin's father, and between them they encouraged a match between the two.
 
They were married in 1848, and Google says "their different temperaments soon caused problems
 as she was naturally outgoing and flirtatious,
coming to feel oppressed by her husband's dogmatic personality".
 
However, the facts are that Effie left her husband after five years,
without the marriage being consummated,
 and after the annulment of the marriage, married her husband's protégé, the painter, John Millais.
 
This famous Victorian 'love triangle' has been dramatized in plays, films and an opera
(so how did I miss it!!!!)
 
A new movie on the subject, entitled "Effie" and directed by Richard Laxton, is to be
released in October, 2013.  The script is by Emma Thompson.
 
Another Emma has also written a short story about Ruskin and Gray's
wedding night, entitled 'Come, Gentle Night' ,
to be found in Emma Donoghue's  book of short stories
'The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits"
 
Effie went on to have eight children and led a presumably happy family life with John Millais,
 even though the scandal of the annulment from Ruskin
 barred her from some social functions, and she
was not allowed in the presence of Queen Victoria!
 
Oh well............
 
For more interpretations of the letter E visit here at ABC Wednesday
and give thanks to Denise Nesbitt, Roger Green and all who help in maintaining
this great meme.
 
 
 


10 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

I enjoyed reading this Hildred as Ruskin is very much a Northern figure here in the UK. How times have changed eh?

Roger Owen Green said...

I gather the latter marriage, then, WAS consummated...
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Sounds to me as if she made a good move...giving up Queen Victoria seems a small price to pay for not giving up (some of the other joys of life)!

But isn't it something to think about what a brave thing it was for her to do back then and how unremarkable it would be today.

photowannabe said...

In that era I think she was quite daring to leave.
Fascinating history. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Reader Wil said...

Effie was certainly a brave and strong woman. She did what she wanted! Thank you for drawing the attention to her.
Thanks for your visit and comment.
Wil, ABCW Team

Leslie: said...

I'm sure she was much too busy with all those children to visit the Queen anyway!

Leslie
abcw team

Carver said...

Fascinating person to feature for E week. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

Kay L. Davies said...

What a story, Hildred. I've never heard of Effie Gray but I'm looking forward to seeing the new movie. What an amazing woman she was for her time. And then she had as many children as Queen Victoria, whom she was not allowed to meet.
Wonderful!
K

ChrisJ said...

Great post! So interesting. I'm not familiar with John Ruskin and Weaver says he was from the north. I must certainly look him up. I admire Effie for her independence and strong will. These qualities are often considered negative qualities in evangelicals, but they can have a very positive effect on one's faith.

Pheno Menon said...

That was some Excellent information of an exciting personality

PhenoMenon, ABCW Team