Fun Facts Friday: Vernon Lee
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / August 17, 2012

Vernon Lee (17 August, 1856 –1935) was a British writer of supernatural fiction. Ms. Lee was also a prolific essayist who wrote on art, music, and travel. 1 ) Vernon Lee is actually a p[pseudonym, the writer’s real name is Violet Paget. 2 ) One of her childhood friends was artist John Singer Sargent (who painted the portrait above). 3 ) Even though the author mainly wrote in English, she spent the majority of her life in Italy. 4 ) Ms. Lee was an early feminist and dressed like a man. 5 ) She was a lesbian and had long, passionate relationship with two women. 6 ) During her life, Lee was considered an authority on Italian Renaissance and wrote two works on the subject. 7 ) When writing travel essays, Lee tried to capture the psychological effects of places rather than conveying information. 8 ) Another favorite topic for Vernon Lee was the relationship between authors and readers. 9 ) She also pioneered the idea of critically assessing art in relation to the audience’s personal response. 10) After her death, Lee’s library was left to the British Institute of Florence and can still be visited today. Zohar – Man…

Guest Review: Florence and Giles’ By John Harding
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / January 11, 2012

Turning the Screw…. Florence & Giles is an intriguing Gothic tale, well thought-out and deftly plotted. It owes much of its inspiration to Henry James’s ‘The Turn of the Screw’ and is a tribute to that classic story of misguided and obsessive madness. Set in remote and crumbling New England mansion, twelve-year-old orphan Florence is neglected by her guardian uncle and banned from any formal education as her absent uncle has strong opinions on the dangers of a clever woman. Ignored by the minimal staff of the house and left to her own devices, she finds the abandoned library, teaches herself to read and devours books in secret – she appears a resourceful and intelligent young heroine. Keeping her self-taught accomplishments a secret from all, she considers them her own personal triumph, seeing herself as literary and articulate against all the odds. She insists on narrating her own story in a language of her own invention. This contrived language is a little awkward to get used to. Her insistence on turning nouns and adjectives to verbs and verbs to nouns “no budgery was to be had. I was in a weepery of frustration” – can rather grate and irritate at first, but…

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