Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jeśli lubisz Trzęsidzidę

Verbatim translation: If you like Shakespeare.

I spent all my First Communion money on a lexicon of painting (exactly on this one, but back then internet was not where you found it) and I thought this was the most enchanting painting in the world:

Years later I heard about Elizabeth Siddal's anguish--posing for Millais in a bathtub of cold water. I wish someone would discover a secret alternative version of the painting or a sketch of Siddal on her break: reading a book in that bathtub, adding warm water on the sly.


Harry Kent said...

Following Lizzie’s opium-fuelled death, overcome with grief, Rossetti enclosed in Elizabeth's coffin a small journal containing the only copies he had of his many poems. He purportedly slid the book into Elizabeth's red hair. She was then interred at Highgate Cemetery in London. But by 1869, before publishing his newer poems Rossetti became obsessed with retrieving the poems he had slipped into Elizabeth's hair. Rossetti had his agent have her coffin exhumed to retrieve the manuscript. This was done in the dead of night so as to avoid public curiosity and attention, and Rossetti was not present. His agent reported to Rossetti that her corpse was remarkably well preserved and her delicate beauty intact. Her hair was said to have continued to grow after death so that the coffin was filled with her flowing coppery hair. It seems the manuscript was retrieved although a worm had burrowed through the book so that some of the poems were difficult to read. Rossetti published the old poems with his newer ones but he was haunted by the exhumation through the rest of his life.

Upon reading this account in Wikipedia, I immediately had visions of your Ophelia out of that cold bath ... but into that cold coffin ... with poems for flowers in her hair ... eternally floating down Lethe.

Misiula said...

Thanks for stopping by.

I always think of this story when I reread Dracula.