Elizabeth Siddal: Personal Life

William Bell Scott Recalls His First Meeting with Lizzie

William Bell Scott Recalls his First Meeting with Lizzie, Published in Autobiographical Notes of the Life of William Bell Scott (New York, Harper & Brothers 1892)

A year or two after in midsummer, the time when I always visited London, Howitt having returned from Australia, and being with Mary Howitt and Anna Mary, their daughter, in Normandy, I found D.G.R. was to be seen in their charming cottage on the Hampstead Road, called the Hermitage. In the garden of this cottage was a painting-room or study, covered with ivy, approached by outside wooden steps. I walked up to see him in the cool of the evening; the servant directed me up these steps, and I found myself in the romantic dusk of the apartment face to face with Rossetti and a lady whom I did not recognise, and could scarcely see. He did not introduce her; she rose to go. I made a little bow, which she did not acknowledge; and she left. This was Miss Siddal. Why he did not introduce me to her I cannot say. Perhaps the maid should have called him instead of allowing me to invade the studio without warning; she may even done it as a lark; for myself, I had not heard yet of such a person as Miss Siddal. Perhaps Rossetti was already beginning to revise his intention of marriage: an even way of life the most unlikely possible suit to his late development. She began to think herself a genius too, and did small, quaint, quasi-poetical imitations of his works at that time, and then her health not being good, by Ruskin’s assistance she went to Mentone.

Notes:

1.) Howitt: William Howitt, Poet & author
2.) Mary Howitt:  Poet & author, wife of William
3.) Anna Mary Howitt: Author & feminist
4.) D.G.R.: Dante Gabriel Rossetti,  Artist & poet, husband of Lizzie
5.) Ruskin:  John Ruskin, Art critic
6.) William Bell Scott,  Artist & Poet

Submitted by Gary Attlesey

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