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A Circle of Sisters: Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin

Author:   Judith Flanders
Publisher:   Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN:  

9780140284898


Pages:   432
Publication Date:   02 May 2002
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
Stock availability from the supplier is unknown. We will order it for you and ship this item to you once it is received by us.

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A Circle of Sisters: Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin


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Overview

The Macdonald sisters - Alice, Georgiana, Agnes and Louisa - started life among the ranks of the lower-middle classes, with little prospect of social advancement. But as wives and mothers they made a single family of the poet of Empire, Rudyard Kipling, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, Edward Poynter, President of the Royal Academy, and the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. In telling their remarkable story, Judith Flanders displays the fluidity of Victorian society, and explores the life of the family in the nineteenth century.

Full Product Details

Author:   Judith Flanders
Publisher:   Penguin Books Ltd
Imprint:   Penguin Books Ltd
Dimensions:   Width: 12.90cm , Height: 2.60cm , Length: 19.80cm
Weight:   0.298kg
ISBN:  

9780140284898


ISBN 10:   0140284893
Pages:   432
Publication Date:   02 May 2002
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
Stock availability from the supplier is unknown. We will order it for you and ship this item to you once it is received by us.

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Reviews

Drive[s] a four-horse chariot through the nineteenth century.... I have enjoyed this book more than I can say.


The four Macdonald sisters were the children of a poor Methodist minister, lacked a consistent education and yet, between them, grew up to be the wives of a famous painter (Edward Burne-Jones) and the President of the Royal Academy (Edward Poynter), and the mothers of a renowned writer (Rudyard Kipling) and a prime minister (Stanley Baldwin). At a time of some social mobility, they rose into the highest circles of national life in Victorian England. In her first book, the journalist Judith Flanders, has placed the sisters within their family and domestic context, arguing that women's actual lives have been sidelined in 'male biographies'. She shows how these young women, middle-class by the skin of their teeth, married within their social circle and, given the restricted roles for women in the Victorian era, used what power they had to bolster their husbands and children while struggling, with greater or lesser success, to channel their own talents and beliefs. Judith Flanders describes the whole social network created by the sisters, their husbands, children and grandchildren. Male relatives and friends mainly come out badly, particularly Ruskin, Byrne-Jones and Kipling with their psychological and sexual foibles, but some of the women, Janey Morris, for example, are also not spared criticism. The emphasis on women's lives enables the author to introduce social and domestic details which would be omitted from a 'male biography', such as gender roles, birth and death customs, the running of a household, shopping and childcare, as well as social and historical events which impacted on families, such as the Boer War. She skilfully interweaves all these complex strands to produce a gripping and moving narrative which includes generous quotations from letters and family papers. This is a well-written, involving and rewarding book. (Kirkus UK)


Author Information

Judith Flanders is a freelance journalist and writer. This is her first book for Viking. Previously, she worked in publishing and for the National Portrait Gallery. She lives in London, NW5.

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