A Circle of Sisters: Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin

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9780140284898: A Circle of Sisters: Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin

The Macdonald sisters -- Alice, Georgiana, Agnes and Louisa -- started life among the ranks of the lower-middle classes, with little prospect of social advancement. But as wives and mothers they made a single family of the poet Rudyard Kipling, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, Edward Poynter, President of the Royal Academy, and the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. In telling their remarkable story, Judith Flanders displays the fluidity of Victorian society, and explores the life of the family in the 19th century.

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Circle of Sisters is a new collective biography of the four Macdonald sisters, two of whom married the famous painters Edward Burne-Jones and Edward Poynter, while the other two married Lockwood Kipling and Alfred Baldwin and produced between them a poet laureate and a prime minister. The daughters of a Methodist preacher, the four sisters led diverse and cosmopolitan lifestyles by Victorian standards, even if they remained throughout the subordinate siblings and partners of their menfolk. The story of the Macdonald family has been told before--notably in Ina Taylor's Victorian Sisters (1987--and although Flanders' account is better written, with more colour and detail, and with a finer appreciation of both the Macdonald forebears and the upbringing of the four girls, the book does not really live up to its billing. The author promises a book about private women, domestic life and the rhythms of family, subjects on which some of the best Victorian historians around have been working for a generation--for example, Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall in their influential Family Fortunes (1986). But we do not really get this. Circle of Sisters becomes too easily a conventional account of famous fathers and sons (Rudyard Kipling gets more space than Alice his mother). It is readable and undemanding biography, but hardly amounts to challenging history. We simply never learn enough about what made the sisters tick as daughters, wives or mothers. -- Miles Taylor

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"Drive[s] a four-horse chariot through the nineteenth century.... I have enjoyed this book more than I can say."

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Flanders, Judith
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 122 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Macdonald sisters - Alice, Georgiana, Agnes and Louisa - started life among the ranks of the lower-middle classes, with little prospect of social advancement. But as wives and mothers they made a single family of the poet Rudyard Kipling, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, Edward Poynter, President of the Royal Academy, and the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. In telling their remarkable story, Judith Flanders displays the fluidity of Victorian society, and explores the life of the family in the 19th century. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140284898

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Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2002)
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 122 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Macdonald sisters -- Alice, Georgiana, Agnes and Louisa -- started life among the ranks of the lower-middle classes, with little prospect of social advancement. But as wives and mothers they made a single family of the poet Rudyard Kipling, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, Edward Poynter, President of the Royal Academy, and the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. In telling their remarkable story, Judith Flanders displays the fluidity of Victorian society, and explores the life of the family in the 19th century. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140284898

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Book Description 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st. 129mm x 198mm x 26mm. Paperback. Judith Flanders chronicles the lives and discusses the literary works of the Macdonald sisters. Each of these extraordinary women were either married to or mothers of an eminent male figur.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 432 pages. 0.298. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140284898

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Book Description 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st. 129mm x 198mm x 26mm. Paperback. Judith Flanders chronicles the lives and discusses the literary works of the Macdonald sisters. Each of these extraordinary women were either married to or mothers of an emine.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 432 pages. 0.298. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140284898

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