Monday, March 23, 2009

04May1865, Reform Bill and Pre-Raphaeliteism

LONDON, May 4th, 1865.
—I read with a good deal of interest a speech of "Bob Lowe's" against Mr. Baines' Reform Bill which is for a £6 franchise. Mr. Lowe made me agree with him, which is sad, as wicked Radical Fred is all for the £6 franchise. But if Uncle William, as is expected, makes a good rattling speech on the other side, I shall probably go comfortably round. I foresee that I shall get desperately political ; but I don't think that must necessarily make me an odious woman ! I shall try and not let it at all events. Went with Lou to the Royal Academy ; where were many pretty children, and cottage interiors ; two excellent pictures of the Bishops of London and Oxford, by Sant and Richmond, and other good things. Pre-Raphaeliteism seems, like homeopathy, to be becoming less a school apart and more infused into schools than it was. Not but what there are still some tinny, papier-mâché, gaudy skies, solid green seas, ugly red-haired, pink-faced women in all colours of the rainbow, and cotton velvet grass ; and also some soft sketchy pictures aiming at the other extreme, which I can't but prefer, even in their extremes.

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