Ophelia's Muse depicts the passionate but doomed romance between the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood painter Dante Rossetti and his model muse and wife Lizzie SiddalI'll never want to draw anyone else but you You are my muse Without you there is no art in meWith her pale luminous skin and cloud of copper colored hair nineteen year old Lizzie Siddal looks nothing like the rosy cheeked ideal of Victorian beauty Working in a London milliner's shop Lizzie stitches elegant bonnets destined for wealthier young women until a chance meeting brings her to the attention of painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti Enchanted both by her ethereal appearance and her artistic ambitions quite out of place for a shop girl Rossetti draws her into his glittering world of salons and bohemian soireesLizzie begins to sit for some of the most celebrated members of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood posing for John Everett Millais as Shakespeare's Ophelia for William Holman Hunt and especially for Rossetti who immortalizes her in countless paintings as his namesake's beloved Beatrice The passionate visions Rossetti creates on canvas are echoed in their intense affair But while Lizzie strives to establish herself as a painter and poet in her own right betrayal illness and addiction leave her struggling to save her marriage and her sense of selfRita Cameron weaves historical figures and vivid details into a complex unconventional love story giving voice to one of the most influential yet overlooked figures of a fascinating era a woman who is both artist and inspiration long gazed upon but until now never fully seen

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