Madeleine Emerald Thiele

The Victorian Butterfly muses upon Art, Angels & other stuff in between.



Angels vi

Susan Sontag: Photography

Susan Sontag’s seminal book Photography (1977) speaks prophetically about many of the issues social media is now forcing us to consider. Who owns images, what is intrusive, historical, artistic, useful in a photograph? What is narcissistic, who shoots, who poses,... Continue Reading →


Janey and Gabriel’s Letters

'Here printed in full for the first time, are 114 letters from Rossetti to Jane Morris…They provide a poignant record of an intimate friendship and tell us much about Rossetti’s painting and writing during the latter part of his career…They... Continue Reading →

Jane Morris on Mrs. Charles Fairfax Murray

Below is an extract of a letter from Jane Morris written to Rossetti in late 1878. It details the sorry state of the Fairfax Murrays. In 1871 Charles Fairfax Murray went to Italy to paint and study, and returned again... Continue Reading →

Minton Peacocks & Ceramics

Minton's Ltd. was a major ceramics manufacturing company, originated by Thomas Minton (1765–1836) the founder. Thomas Minton and Sons pottery factory opened in Stoke-upon-Trent, in 1793. Within three years, Thomas and formed a partnership with Joseph Poulson, creating Minton &... Continue Reading →

She was called Fantine

This image depicts Fantine, a character in the Victor Hugo novel Les Misérables (1862). Fantine is the mother who stares directly out at us. Her expression, more easily witnessed in the enlargement below, is not as weary as it, by... Continue Reading →

A Last Confession by W.B. Yeats

What lively lad most pleasured me Of all that with me lay? I answer that I gave my soul And loved in misery, But had great pleasure with a lad That I loved bodily. Flinging from his arms I laughed... Continue Reading →

From the Old Chapel Field: Robin & Heather Tanner

Robin Tanner (1904 - 1988) is quoted as saying 'as a boy I had two great longings - to be a teacher and to be an artist - and I have never wavered.' About thirty years ago I had the... Continue Reading →

Rumi’s Listen to the Reed

Listen to this reed as it is grieving; it is telling the story of separations. ‘Since I was severed from the bed of reeds, in my cry men and women have lamented. I need the breast that’s torn to shreds... Continue Reading →

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