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A Pre-Raphaelite Circle

Raleigh Trevelyan

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‘Tennyson and Holman Hunt, Carlyles, Rossettis and any number of celebrated Trevelyans people these pages; and Mr Trevelyan’s handling of their comings and goings is masterly.’ Hilary Spurling

Pauline Trevelyan, friend and patroness of so many in the Pre-Raphaelite circle, has long been an intriguing figure to scholars of that period. The daughter of a poor parson, she was married to Sir Walter Calverley Trevelyan, a landowner-cum-scientist twenty years her senior and her opposite in character. Herself an artist, writer and critic, she spotted Swinburne’s talents when he was still a schoolboy, and commissioned important works from Rossetti, Woolner and others. From her immense correspondence we learn much about John Ruskin.

A Pre-Raphaelite Circle reproduces a late-unearthed letter from Ruskin that is revelatory in respect of his marriage. For this and many other reasons it is a crucial work of reference for students of Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites.


Raleigh Trevelyan is a writer and editor. Born in the Andaman Islands in 1923, he moved to Britain when he was eight. His classic The Fortress was published in 1956; among his other books are Rome ’44, The Golden Oriole and a study of his ancestor, Sir Walter Raleigh. He lives in London and Cornwall.

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