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Spring Cottage, Hampstead, 1860. Coventry Patmore preaches very vehemently to the Rossettis that a tea-pot is not worshipful for its form and colour but as a sublime symbol of domesticity. 4 ¼ x 6 ½ inches. Plate 5 from Max Beerbohm, Rossetti and His Circle. 1922. Click on image to enlarge it.

Coventry Patmore, who asked Ruskin to come to the defense of the young Pre-Raphaelites in 1850, was closely associated with the young art revolutionaries. He advocated their work advocate, and one of his poems, "The Woodman's Daughter" (text), inspired Millais's painting with the same title. Patmore, who was well acquainted with many of the major literary and artistic figures of the time, including Ruskin, Browning, and Carlyle, was famous in his own day for the much-misunderstood series of dramatic monologues entitled The Angel in the House. As Beerbohm's caricature suggests, Patmore was an aggressively argumentative conversationalist during the time when he played an important role in London cultural circles. Four years after the death of his much-admired wife, Emily, he married Marrianne Caroline Byles, converted to Roman Catholicism, moved out of London, and began to write poetry with mystical themes. Beerbohm, who obviously alludes to The Angel in the House, may also being referring to Patmore's later works as well [GPL].

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Beerbohm, Max. Rossetti and His Circle. London: William Heinemann, 1922.

Last modified 19 May 2021