➳ [Reading] ➶ May and Amy: A True Story of Family, Forbidden Love, and the Secret Lives of May Gaskell, Her Daughter Amy, and Sir Edward Burne-Jones By Josceline Dimbleby ➩ – Dolove.info
I enjoyed it, but feel the author s family will get the most satifaction Not an exciting read I think it s a good look at the era but I never felt we really got to the crux of Amy, what she was really about. The story behind one of Burne Jones haunting portraits is in itself haunting Years after the fact I am still referencing the people and places in the book This is one of those novels that, when it ends, you feel slightly lost and miss the people and places Very well done This is one of those books. Always Intrigued By Edward Burne Jones S Portrait Of Her Great Aunt, Amy Gaskell, Josceline Dimbleby S Chance Meeting With The Painting S Current Owner Encouraged Her To Explore The Mystery Of Her Own Family S Past And The Life And Death Of Her Beautiful Great AuntIn Her Search, Dimbleby Uncovered A Passionate Correspondence Between Burne Jones And Her Great Grandmother, May Gaskell, Amy S Mother, Which Continued Throughout The Last Six Years Of The Pre Raphaelite Painter S Life As She Delved Deeper Into Their Engrossing Lives, Questions Emerged What Was The Deep Secret May Had Confided To Edward And What Was The Tragic Truth Behind Amy S Wayward, Wandering Life, Her Strange Marriage, And Her Unexplained Early Death Weaving Together The Threads Of This Tale, Dimbleby Takes Us Through A Turbulent Period In English History And Visits The Most Far Flung Corners Of The Empire William Morris, Rudyard Kipling, William Gladstone, And Prominent Members Of The Souls Also Play A Part In This Sweeping, Often Funny, And Sometimes Tragic Story Richly Detailed And Exquisitely Told, May And Amy Is A Stunning Account Of Hidden Love And Family Secrets Edward Burne Jones is really just one of many characters in this story, which could easily have been written as a novel, I almost forgot at times that it wasn t The fact that it is true made it much compelling and I enjoyed it quite a lot Not for everyone, of course, this has to be the sort of thing you like. I liked the story and some of the family history But what I have a supreme problem is her reliance on the rhetorical questions Like Kathyrn hughes mentions They are overly dramatic and make you think something definite will be revealed And sadly, not so much Abit torn It is interesting, but I wanted Pre Raph stuff From Kathyrn Hughes review of A Profound Secret these relentlessly rhetorical questions annoying They are nothing compared with the endless unanswered queries Dim bleby throws out in the course of this breathless book Chapter four, in fact, ends with three on the trot, the final one of which asks urgently Was it melodramatic of me to wonder if Burne Jones could have had a premonition of Amy s fate At which point one wants to jump into the text and stamp on the question marks until they lie defeated, unable to perform their annoying trick of gesturing towards openness while stubbornly refusing to take the argument in any particular direction. What a dreadful read slow and boring this lady normally writes cookery books and columns and perhaps she should stick with that one of the worst books i ve read this year. I wish I could remember why this was on my TBR apparently added at the end of 2010 I seem to recall that one of the main characters and this book was mentioned in another book I read but a quick look of books read in 2010 doesn t throw any light on this.Anyway I couldn t see any point in this book for the general public Without all the facts, nothing was really revealed that could have been shocking by the standards of the time.The only reason this is a two star review and not one star is that I found interesting the information about May Gaskell collecting books for service men. Enjoyed the book, but have to admit I was put off by May s apparent preoccupation with her looks and her daughter Burne Jones fueled the fire in a way that made me squirm at times He seemed always to be looking for the fountain of youth through young women s faces and figures, and idealized them much as he did fairy tales and Medieval legends I finished the book with a sense of gloomy relief. The subtitle of this breathlessly boring biography is A True Story of Family, Forbidden Love, and the Secret Lives of May Gaskell, Her Daughter Amy, and Sir Edward Burne Jones There are three stories Dimbleby tries to tell and while there is the basis of something interesting in their stories, she manages to make it exhausting and drawn out The title gives the implication of some tragic connection between Burne Jones and both Gaskell women, but this is not true only the first third of the book is devoted to Burne Jones, and it is simply a vehicle for reprinting his platonic love letters to May He paints a striking portrait of Amy, and later dies The last two thirds of the book explores the events leading up to Amy s mysterious and unexpected death and May s remaining life through the two World Wars Dimbleby tells her family s story by inserting commentary on her research and her thoughts on her discoveries, which should have provided tension or brightened the narrative, but instead, reads trite and cliched all museums and libraries were accommodating, and when needed, the weather was appropriately shiny or stormy Another complaint the illustrations referenced by Dimbleby appear chapters later, out of context and jarring at times In the end, a disappointing exploration of a very interesting family.I think I resented this book from the first page, when Dimbleby mentioned partying with Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is a rapid collector of Pre Raphaelite art he is also the owner of a Burne Jones portrait of Dimbleby s great aunt Amy Gaskell From the start, Dimbleby s research is easy and accommodating fortune and coincidence keep her on a steady search for three years Even the weather matches her discoveries thunder when something is awful, streaming sunlight when things are cheerful I feel like her experiences are underscored by her family s history, social standing, or economic status that if her family were less well connected her experiences would have been vastly different Perhaps I m just covetous of the Pre Raphaelite connection But despite Dimbleby s warm affection for her family, I felt very cold while reading her book a reflection, perhaps, of the well known Gaskell tendency toward reservedness. From around page 80 until Edward Burne Jones death, I give this book 5 stars The description of his correspondence with May Gaskell and her family was just riveting, and the exerpts of the actual letters made me nearly giddy He was not just an amazing painter, but apparently quite lyrical with his pen A vast amount of this book, however, reads like a family history that would sorry only be interesting to relatives of the author Four stars, however, because as I saidthe segments that involved Burne Jones took my breath away.