A little something for International Women’s Day!
The power of celebrity – and specifically its effects on women – was as much of a phenomenon in Victorian times as it is today. Colleen Denney’s book Women, Portraiture and the Crisis of Identity in Victorian England examines the images and lives of four prominent Victorian women who steered their way through scandal to forge unique identities.
The book shows the effect of celebrity, and even notoriety, on the lives of Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Dilke, Millicent Garrett Fawcett, and Sarah Grand.
For these women, their portraits were more than speaking likenesses-whether painted or photographic, they became crucial tools the women used to negotiate their controversial identities.