We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Effie: The Passionate Lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett Millais | [Suzanne Fagence Cooper]

Effie: The Passionate Lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett Millais

Effie Gray, a beautiful and intelligent young socialite, rattled the foundations of England's Victorian age. Married at 19 to John Ruskin, the leading art critic of the time, she found herself trapped in a loveless, union after Ruskin rejected her on their wedding night. She met John Everett Millais, Ruskin's protege, and fell passionately in love with him. Suzanne Fagence Cooper has gained exclusive access to Effie's previously unseen letters and diaries to tell the complete story of this scandalous love triangle.
Regular Price:$20.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Effie Gray, a beautiful and intelligent young socialite, rattled the foundations of England's Victorian age. Married at 19 to John Ruskin, the leading art critic of the time, she found herself trapped in a loveless, unconsummated union after Ruskin rejected her on their wedding night. On a trip to Scotland she met John Everett Millais, Ruskin's protege, and fell passionately in love with him. In a daring act, Effie left Ruskin, had their marriage annulled, and entered into a long, happy marriage with Millais.

Suzanne Fagence Cooper has gained exclusive access to Effie's previously unseen letters and diaries to tell the complete story of this scandalous love triangle. In Cooper's hands, this passionate love story also becomes an important new look at the work of both Ruskin and Millais, with Effie emerging as a key figure in their artistic development.

Effie is a heartbreakingly beautiful book about three lives passionately entwined with some of the greatest paintings of the pre-Raphaelite period.

©2011 Suzanne Fagence Cooper (P)2012 AudioGO

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (13 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.1 (12 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.0 (12 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 06-29-12
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 06-29-12 Member Since 2005

    malfi

    HELPFUL VOTES
    749
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    340
    174
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    282
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating Story--Victoriana"

    Effie Gray was only twelve when she met the celebrated young art critic John Ruskin in 1841. A friendship developed, and within a few years, he proposed; the two married when Effie was nineteen, Ruskin 29. Effie imagined the two of them as the perfect couple, her social charm as asset to his brilliance. But on their wedding night, something went terribly wrong. Despite her innocence, Effie knew that there had to be more to marriage than taking walks along the riverbank: Ruskin either would not or could not consummate their union. In a letter to her parents, she wrote:

    "He alleged various reasons, hatred to children, religious motives, a desire to preserve my beauty, and finally this last year he told me his true reason... that he had imagined women were quite different to what he saw I was, and that the reason he did not make me his Wife was because he was disgusted with my person the first evening 10th April 1848."

    Ashamed, Effie remained in the marriage for six years before formally filing for an annulment. She was subjected to a physical examination to verify her chastity and humiliated by Ruskin's testimony that "though her face was beautiful, her person was not formed to excite passion. On the contrary, there were certain circumstances in her person which completely checked it." The doctor who examined her declared that she was normal in every way; it has been speculated that Ruskin might have been repelled by his wife's pubic hair, or that she was menstruating. As one would expect, the case created a scandal in Victorian England.

    Fortunately, a happier future was in store. Effie had posed for Ruskin's friend, the artist John Everett Millais, who accompanied the couple on a trip to Scotland. The two fell in love and were married a year after the annulment was granted. Fagence devotes the first half of her biography to the scandal, but the second details Effie's 42-year marriage, which, despite some losses and difficulties, was a happy one. Effie continued to model for Millais (as did her siblings, her eight children, and later their grandchildren), and "Everett," as she called him, eventually earned great success as a painter, as well as a baronetcy. But her one disappointment was that the queen would not receive "a divorced person" at court. It seemed she would never quite shake the scandal of NOT being a wife to Ruskin. And Ruskin, who apparently never learned when not to speak, publicly blamed Effie for 'ruining' Millais's potential as an artist, the necessity of feeding a family turning him to a more lucrative style.

    Cooper does an admirable job of presenting this slice of Victorian scandal and a peek into the world of art. We learn not only about the three persons mentioned in her lengthy title, but also about her travels in Italy, the elder Ruskins, Effie's family in Scotland, the Millais children, and the friends who stood by her. I did find the second half a bit confusing at times, partly because of the profusion of Johns, Georges, Sophias and Effies, but also because of the author's tendency to jump back and forth through time.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lina FORT LEE, NJ, United States 09-12-13
    lina FORT LEE, NJ, United States 09-12-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too long!"
    What disappointed you about Effie?

    Too many details!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Suzanne Fagence Cooper again?

    Only if it was shrieked to 5 to1.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Sophie Ward?

    Yes!


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Effie?

    Mostly everything that concern her parents and siblings, because only reason we want to know about her that she had been married to two most influential men in the history of English XIX c. Art.


    Any additional comments?

    It could be a nice story if had not been lost in all irrelevant details. However, if you can afford to go on a slow rate, it provide you with a very vivid picture of Victorian England.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.