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It is a unique institution having no parallel in the whole world. It has evolved from the ancient patriarchal family which can be described as the earliest unit of human society.

The head of such unit is always, in practice, despotic and enjoyed highest respect. The induction of coparcenary system considerably whittled down the absolute power o. A joint Hindu family consists of all persons who are lineally descended from a common ancestor, and includes their wives and unmarried daughters. On marriage, a daughter ceases to be a member of her father's family, and becomes a member of her husband's family. Thus, if A has two sons, X and?

Indian Family Structure Words: In most of the country, the basic units of society are the patrilineal family unit and wider kinship groupings. The most widely desired residential unit is the joint family, ideally consisting of three or four patrilineally related generations, all living under one roof, working, eating, worshiping, and coop. But there is no guarantee for our lives, it comes with risks and unforeseen incidents that can put our family's security in water.

But as the topic says an insured family is secured family, because it would provide money to our family if something bad happens to us. For the security of our family. Families can be little or develop in side and get to be tremendous relying upon the quantity of individuals in the family. Family connections can be a direct result of the assortment of associations like blood, marriage, reception, and so on among individu.

However, the difference is only in the words used, but the core significance remains the same. However, apart from being the recognized epicentre of the Anglo-Florentine community, her experience is fundamental also for understanding the relation of women to the difficult social reality in this historical period.

Subjected to innumerable contradicitons, multiple identities, an undefinable self, not identifiable by absolutes, she certainly has the right to sally forth on the public scene. Isa Blagden is briefly noted in Modern English Biography which lists her works, presenting her though as 'friend' of authors, among them, considering as more important, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Theodosia Trollope.

To have known her and to have had her as confidente today would be held among the most significant personalities of the nineteenth century was both the fortune and misfortune of Blagden. She has in fact obtained a sort of oblique immortality in the memory of the past: Even when alive Blagden was always under the shadow of Browning, she became remembered even in the works on other writers who lived or who only visitied the Tuscan capital, seeing that it was unlikely that Anglo-American artists would stay in Florence without coming to know and to remain drawn to this gentle-souled woman, who received numerous guests in her villas at Bellosguardo.

But this aspect of 'universal friend' has placed other sides of her personality in the shadows, and above all the fact that not did she love to surround herself with artists and writers, but that she was herself a writer.

Novelist and poet, she is dropped after it is said she was a mediocre and scarcely original writer, because she wrote according to the Victorian canon. From her we can recover her personality, always drawn to attract around her the most important artists of the period, obscuring her work. We forget that Blagden's novels and poems are the one direct source from which can come the identity of the author and who thanks to the pen succeeded in leading a very well-to-do life, even if in the 'economical' Bellosguardo.

The most outstanding characteristic of Isabella Blagden is the lack of information that we have about her life, in particular for the period from her birth to her choice to settle in Italy. The writer left neither autobiography nor diary, and in even the autobiographical works of her most intimate friends there is no information on the period before Besides, the greater part of the letters that she regularly wrote to her numerous friends have been lost. Lacking primary documentation, the fundamental sources for biographical information concerning Blagden are the introduction to her volume of poetry written by the Poet Laureate Alfred Austin, Blagden's friend in Florence in , and the letters sent every month by her dear friend Robert Browning, kept by Isa with care and which fortunately have come down to us.

Non sappiamo neppure con esattezza la data della sua nascita. Tuttavia le date sulla sua tomba sono — Blagden's origins seem wrapped up in a most obscure mystery. Though surrounded by a full crowd of friends, there is not a trace of any family relation. We do not even know with any exactitude the date of her birth.

The English Cemetery's Register in Florence, where the writer is buried, affirm that her father's name was Thomas and that Isa died 23 January at Though the dates on her tomb are In What I Remember, Thomas Adolphus Trollope, born in , tells us that Blagden was much younger than he and this makes us think of , but this, naturally, is only a supposition, so much are critics divided on the issue. Nathaniel Hawthorne in his Marble Faun , speaking of one of the romance's protagonists, has written words that apply perfectly to Blagden's situation, with the one difference that Hawthorne's heroine is a painter, rather than a writer.

He speaks of a certain 'ambiguity' which does not necessarily imply anything wrongful; no one knew anything about her, since she made her appearance without an introduction. Le origini di Blagden dovevano essere ignote anche a molti se non tutti suoi amici.

Correva voce che le scorresse nelle vene sangue indiano. Lilian Whiting 4 afferma che essa era la figlia di un gentiluomo inglese e una principessa Hindu. Le origini indiane di Blagden sembrano essere confermate dalle descrizioni fisiche che di lei riportano i suoi contemporanei. Blagden's origins were unknown even to most if not all her friends.

Rumour had it that in her veins ran Indian blood. Lilian Whiting affirms that she was the daughter of an English gentleman and a Hindu princess. Blagden's Indian origins seem to be confirmed by the physical descriptions given of her by her contemporaries. Kate Field and Margaret Jackson speak of a woman of small stature, with black eyes and hair and an olive complexion; Henry James, who knew her briefly during one of his first visits to Florence, writes of a morning walk from the centre of the city to Bellosguardo during which he spoke with a little and energetic lady with dark eyes and a vaguely Indian aspect.

It is worthwhile noting the fact that a lady like Isabella Blagden, whose past is wrapped in mystery, had chosen Italy for her country of adoption, and in particular the tolerance of Florence, universally noted also for its acceptance of the most 'extravagant' guests. The travels which meant long stays gave the opportunity to assume manners and roles that at home would have been forbidden or impossible.

Italy was the place of opportunity, the place of excess where another self lived life. Italy was the place where the love between Elizabeth and Robert Browning was possible, where persons elsewhere considered eccentric came to be sought out and admired; one thinks of Walter Savage Landor, of whom there are legends about his great anger, or Seymour Kirkup, painter and art collector, fanatic supporter of spiritualism and known amongst his compatriots as the 'wizard'.

Italy, then, came to mean a place of opportunity for women: This was so with artists like Harriet Hosmer, Louisa Lander, both of them sculptresses, Charlotte Cushmann, actress, and also imaginary women like Agnes Tremorne, protagonist of the novel of the same name by Isa Blagden, set in Rome, who could permit themselves to go about the cities alone without masculine protection, considered almost obligatory in their motherland.

Viene da domandarsi poi, se Isa Blagden, donna non sposata che viveva da sola o condividendo la villa del momento con altre donne nubili, sarebbe stata egualmente da tutti ricordata ed elogiata se avesse intrattenuto i suoi ospiti in qualche salotto vittoriano invece che sulla terrazza di villa Brichieri-Colombi.

One can ask whether Isa Blagden, unmarried woman living alone or sharing her villa at times with other unmarried women, would have been equally remembered and praised by all if she had welcomed guests in some English Victorian salon instead of on the terrace of the Villa Brichieri-Colombi. In Italy Isa could permit herself to not disclose her origins and to choose thus the identity she prefered.

Blagden's Florentine life began, as Alfred Austin notes, in his introduction to Blagden's Poems published posthumously in , in and she remained in this city until her death, even if, following the habits of the Anglo-Americans, she spent long periods in other parts of Italy or abroad. The Tuscan city became for her her adopted country, becoming the fixed abode to which she would return after each journey. Although at the beginning of her stay Blagden lodged at Villa Moutier, a place near Poggio Imperiale, about a kilometre from Porta Romana, the writer came to love a particular part of Florence: If Bellosguardo ever were to have a queen, she would have certainly been Isabella Blagden, who spent the great part of her twenty four years in Italy on this hill, changing her dwelling place often, but always choosing villas which were found a few steps from each other and even inviting her most dear friends such as Austin and the Hawthornes to follow her example and to settle on this 'gracious hill'.

Field was aware that any Anglo-Americans who were only passing through Florence, would have recognized in the 'little lady with blue black hair and sparkling jet eyes' the English writer. Tre sono le ville di Bellosguardo maggiormente associate con Blagden: Da Alta Macadam, Americans in Florence: There are three villas in Bellosguardo most associated with Blagden: As already said, from the economic point of view the writer had not a few problems: One of the reasons why she lived for so long at Bellosguardo is precisely because of the relative economy of the place in comparision with other parts of Florence.

Her poverty and therefore the necessity to save on domestic costs, was also the justification that Blagden gave for sharing her apartment with other women. In the course of Blagden shared Villa Brichieri-Colombi with Frances Power Cobbe, who illustrated in her autobiography the financial side of life at Bellosguardo.

Cobbe was not the only person with whom Blagden had shared her apartment, sharing expenses with another woman was a true and proper custom for the writer. Between this last and her 'paying guests' she came to create a relationship based on deep friendship, which lasted beyond their time of living together. In all Blagden's novels friendship, solidarity and the living together of women was continuously praised.

In the light of what the writer promoted in her texts, her position as a single woman who shared her life with various friends assumes all the importance of an autonomous decision which in someways contrasted with social rules, according to which each 'spinster' would be unhappy because of her civil state, due to force majeure and not a free choice. Blagden shared her apartments both with writers and artists, whose names are still known and appreciated, and with women not dedicated to art, today all forgotten.

From the correspondence between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Blagden one can deduce that around mid-century the author of Agnes Tremorne shared the apartment with a certain Miss Agassiz. This is confirmed in a letter dated about in the poetess invites Blagden and Agassiz to Casa Guidi, and by another of May , in which Browning asks about Agassiz's health. In , returning from a visit to England, Blagden brought with her Louisa Alexander, an invalid whom she looked after and who lived with her until June , when Alexander left for India.

Blagden established a great friendship with this woman whose death, which came about in , left her very sad. Both Elizabeth and Rober Browning, who that winter were residing in Paris, wrote to her long consoling letters, being aware of the sorrow this loss provoked.

In data 27 giugno , Hawthorne ci parla nel suo diario di viaggio di una giovane compagna che divideva Villa Brichieri Colombi con Blagden. Bracken aveva a sua completa disposizione una camera e un salotto di villa Brichieri-Colombi, e pagava anche una quota per la carrozza. Hawthorne in his travel diary for 27 June spoke of a young companion who shared Villa Brichieri-Colombi with Blagden. From to , in fact, Blagden shared her apartment with Annette Bracken, a young Englishwoman of In a letter to her sister-in-law, Barrett Browning described the arrangement between the two women.

Bracken had at her complete disposition a bedroom and a sitting room in the Villa Brichieri-Colombi and paid even a share for the carriage. In August of the two women went together to Bagni di Lucca, where they met other Anglo-Americans among them the Brownings and the poet Robert Lytton who had left torrid Florence for a refuge amongst the cool hills of Lucca. Dopo un breve periodo trascorso a Roma, Field giunse a Firenze. Another house guest for Blagden during this period was Kate Field.

Arriving in Italy at the beginning of accompagnied by her Sanford aunt and uncle. Field, who later become a journalist of great talent and fame, was then a young woman of 20, happy to realize her dream: After a brief period at Rome, Field came to Florence. Thanks to some letters of presentation directed to the Brownings, to the Trollopes and to the Hawthornes, that Field had received from the director of the Boston Courier , Mr Launt, she quickly succeeded in fitting into the Anglo-Florentine cultural milieu.

When her relatives left, Field wanted to stay in the Tuscan city and was, as Whiting affirms, 'placed in the care of Miss Blagden'. This last took Kate Field with her wherever she went. For example, in September Blagden was invited by the Brownings who were spending some months in the Sienese countryside and she went there with her young friend. However, even after the mother and daughter moved to an apartment in the city they continued to frequent Bellosguardo assiduously, where they went almost daily.

The friendship between Blagden and Field never ceased, not even when this last made her return to America. Le tre donne erano legate dalla comune amicizia per Isabella Blagden; tutte e tre furono ospiti a Bellosguardo. Durante il loro periodo italiano, soggiornavano di preferenza a Roma e quando visitavano il capoluogo toscano venivano accolte da Isa Blagden.

When Kate Field, at the beginning of her Italian sojourn, came to Rome, she had made the acquaintance of three women, also tied to Blagden with a deep friendship: At the beginning of , when she met them they were sharing from a few days before a house at number 38, Via Gregoriana. The building, thanks to the presence of these great artists became one of the meeting places in Rome most frequented by the Anglo-Americans.

The three women were tied by common friendship to Isabella Blagden; all three had been guests at Bellosguardo. During the long Italian period, staying by preference in Rome and when visiting the Tuscan capital they were welcomed by Isa Blagden. Sometimes the hospitality came to be reciprocated and the writer would come to the Rome of her three friends.

Blagden's hospitality was not limited, as we have seen, to the welcoming and sharing of her own house with other women. During the years from to Isabella Blagden principally dedicated her time and energy to social life. This was the period in which the writer lived at Villa Brichieri-Colombi, the dwelling which became the meeting place par excellence. Frances Power Cobbe ricorda nella sua autobiografia che sul balcone di villa Brichieri-Colombi si ritrovavano regolarmente una compagnia interessante e molteplice.

Frances Power Cobbe recalls in her autobiography that one regularly found an interesting and varied company on the balcony of the Villa Brichieri-Colombi.

Blagden received in her Bellosguardo villas numerous guests of different nationalities; although the true and proper receptions were only once a week on Saturdays , her intimate friends were received at the villa amost every day.

In Blagden's drawing rooms one would meet Anglo-Americans resident in Florence, and those who came to theTuscan city for only a brief period. Alfred Austin notes how Blagden loved to have around herself 'truly congenial spirits' and how it would be rare for a writer or artist passing through Florence not to make her acquaintance.

Cobbe, who boasted of the personalities she had had the occasion of meeting at Villa Brichieri-Colombi, has also listed the names of the various guests whom she and Blagden most frequently received during the Spring of After having noted among the most intimate of Blagden's friends, the Brownings, specifying that due to the precarious state of health of his wife, only Robert habitually frequented Villa Brichier-Colombi, Cobbe speaks of Thomas Adolphus Trollope as another frequent guest to Bellosguardo's salon.

Cobbe also mentions Linda White, the writer, author among other books of Tuscan Hills and Venetian Waters , who later married the historican Pasquale Villari. She was only one of the many acquaintances of Blagden to be present during her last illness. A frequent visitor at Bellosguardo was also Walter Savage Landor, Blagden being one the people closest to him duirng the last years of his life.

As long as Robert Browning remained in Florence he took care of him, having already found him a lodging, when, following an argument, his wife had chased him out of the Villa Gherardesca at Fiesole; after Browning left Tuscany, Blagden cared for Landor going often to visit him until his death in September Cobbe notes also among the usual guests the doctor Grisanowski, who was Polish, Jessie White Mario and Frederick Tennyson, the poet and musician who had previously stayed at Bellosguardo, indeed at the Villa Brichieri-Colombi itself.

This last never went to Villa Brichieri, however Blagden had the occasion to know her when she went to Villino Trollope and 'was enchanted, like all the world, with her'. Cobbe omitted, from forgetfulness or because they were absent from Florence in , other personalities who were frequent visitors at Blagdon's salon and and with whom the writer established a lasting friendship: Con questo elenco non intendo certo esaurire il numero delle persone che frequentavano il salotto di Blagden a Bellosguardo.

With this list we have certainly not exhausted the number of people who frequented Blagden's salon at Bellosguardo. Alfred Austen concerning the writer's friendships spoke of 'the widest circle of friends I have heard of one person possessing' and later defined her 'a universal favourite'.

It would be almost impossible to give all her acquaintances. Ma Blagden, pur nella sua pacatezza, riusciva ad intrattenere e divertire i suoi numerosi ospiti che spesso erano caratterialmente diversissimi tra loro. Blagden was the principle protagonist in these encounters, although she was not in any way like what came to be defined as a 'grand dame'. Her conversation was animated and gay, although not of a particularly extroverted or expansive character, not possessing that quality which had some years earlier permitted the brilliant Lady Blessington to dominate over her elegant salon situated on the Lung'Arno.

One of Isabella Blagden's attributes that most struck her friends was her humility, a characteristic that little accords with the common conception of the figure of the salon leader, usually a woman of exuberant temperament, accustomed to being the centre of attention.

But Blagden, even in her quietness, succeeded in pleasing and entertaining her numerous guests who often were in character very different from each other. About this, Austin tells us that nothing made Blagden so content as to host her friends in her villa, but her benevolence was so great that often she committed the error of mixing water and fire. Lilian Whiting, in her The Florence of Landor , has written refering to members who made part of the Anglo-American colony: Gli argomenti di cui si discuteva durante questi ricevimenti erano vari.

The topics which they discussed during these receptions were varied. The discussions turned upon themes of art, of music and of literature, but above all of politics and spiritualism, this last argument about which almost all of the guests were passionate, exceptions being made for some sceptics like Walter Savage Landor and Robert Browning.

But the most interesting discussion was certainly that of the Italian political question. In the period in which Isabella Blagden lived in the Villa Brichieri-Colombi, the questions of independenze and of national unity dominated the thinking of Italian public opinion. The Anglo-Florentines who were regularly to be found on the terrace of Bellosguardo could not but be interested in contemporary Italy: There were profound differences within the group and it sometimes happened that even in a single individual there would be complex and even contradictory opinions.

There was a conflict between a certain obstinate conformism which adapted to the Victorian ideology and the opening toward new modes of thought. The Anglo-Florentines were all in favour of the Unity of Italy, but were timid about it at the same time because in promoting the unity of the peninsula they would not know what type of government they would meet with and were afraid that their serenity would be in some way disturbed.

In comparision with their compatriots who had not left England, the Anglo-Florentines seemed more open to recognising the existence of other worlds than the British one; they engaged in political struggles which did not belong to them, maintaining, however, a conservative and negative attitude towards whatever social turmoil that could have disturbed the tranquillity of their Florentine life.

If we analyse the relations that came about concretely between the Anglo-Americans and the Italians, we find before us an incredible absence of contact. The sensation remains that English society in Italy presented itself as a closed circle, in which was created a reality close to that of the motherland, which it believed had been left behind.

Italy, with its problems of unity, was a central argument in their discussions, but the Italians who were admitted to participate in these gatherings were very few.

Blagden was no exception. Fundamentally her point of view remained always imperial; notwithstanding her will to open herself to new expereinces, to take into consideration new and different political realities than those of England.

The Italian was always considered by Blagden, as by the majority of the Anglo-Florentines, as the 'other', an individual 'different' than themselves and therefore inferior. Gli unici italiani con cui Blagden e gli angloamericani in genere venivano in contatto appartenevano a classi sociali basse: The only Italians with whom Blagden and the Anglo-Americans generally came into contact belonged to the lower social classes: If sometimes the relationship between the 'Master' and the servant went beyond the mere work contact, the roles and the social classes remained decidedly divided.

Shared living gave place to an affection that did not override national superiority or class. Dai resoconti che di lei hanno lasciato i suoi contemporanei traspare una donna intelligente e dalla vasta cultura, in grado di affrontare conversazioni su argomenti disparati. More or less all those who have written in their diaries, their letters, or their autobiographies were pleased to have crossed over to the Florentine hill and have remembered the lady of the house with admiration and affection.

From the accounts about her that have come down to us from her c ontemporaries we are shown a lady of intelligence and of great culture, capable of fielding conversations on different arguments. But the aspects of Blagden's personality that are most in evidence are her altruism and her generosity, which render her, as Trollope affirmed, 'more universally beloved than any other individual among us'.

Even Henry James, who had dedicated some pages of his William Wetmore Story and his Friends , to the friend of Bellosguardo, underlined Blagden's altruism and spoke of her as like a little legend. The poet, to confirm what he had written, reported another episode concerning her. In Blagden, although much occupied with personal troubles, did not refuse her help to her friend when he asked her to find him lodging in Florence.

Her altruism is shown by thecare with which she helped her friends who had need of her for health reasons. In , during a summer at Bagni di Lucca, the poet Robert Lytton became gravely ill with gastric fever.

The Brownings' letters, they also being resident then in the hills above Lucca, witnessed to how much care Blagden took of their friend. At the beginning she refused to call for a nurse, obstinately wanting to take on the care alone of the invalid. When the poet began to feel better and was ready to move from Bagni di Lucca, Blagden took him with her to Villa Crichieri-Colombi, where he passed the days of his convalescence.

Some critics, among them William Raymond and Giuliana Artom Treves, have advanced the hypothesis of a sort of romance that blossomed in this time between Blagden and Lytton, a love that seemed to be encouraged by the Brownings. Elizabeth Barrett Browning identified Isa with the 'Cordelia' of Lytton's poetry in The Wanderer , and with this name the poet turned to her friend in an letter.

William Raymond took this from some words from Lytton's daughter, Betty Balfour, who wrote that just when her father reached Italy he met a woman whom he loved, but whom he could not marry because of insurmountble barriers.

Raymond defined the 'barriers' for which marriage between the two would have been impossible first there being fifteen years difference in age between the two writers and analyzed Lytton's juvenile poetry, Lucile , where the heroine matches some characteristics that could be applied to Blagden. Lucile is in fact a Euro-Asian, described as a mature woman with with characteristic physical features which could correspond to those of the Anglo-Florentine writer.

Isabella Blagden, however, did not limit her nursing care only to Lytton. In she helped Theodosia Trollope in her final illness and after her demise took care of her daughter Beatrice who stayed with her at Bellosguardo in the days following her mother's death.

Kate Field scrisse in un articolo dedicato a Barrett Browning: Also Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who so much praised her friend during the period when she was nurse to Lytton, was helped in her last days of life by Blagden. Except for the members of the household she was the last person who saw and spoke with the poetess. Kate Field wrote in an article dedicated to Barrett Browning 'on this final evening, an intimate family friend was admitted to her bedside and found her in good spirits, [.

The 'intimate female friend' of whom Field spoke, is none other than Isa Blagden, who, that night not being able to sleep, nevertheless had found her friend in better health. Lilian Whiting says that she stayed up the entire night writing letters, until at dawn a servant came to announce to her the death of the lady of Casa Guidi. Blagden was the closest and certainly the most useful friend to Robert Browning in the days following the demise of his wife, during the period which she called the 'apocalyptic month'.

She took care of every material need, immediately taking the Brownings' child to her house at Bellosguardo and after the funeral convincing the father to pass the night at Villa Brichieri-Colombi, while his last duties kept him in Florence.

Then, as we have seen, Blagden closed her house, deposited her belongings at the Villino Trollope and left together with Robert Browning and his son to accompany them as far as Paris.

Although, having come to Florence, Isabella Blagden chose the Tuscan city as her permanent residence, travel remained a fundamental part of her life. In fact the writer spent long periods away from Bellosguardo, staying sometimes in other Italian cities or abroad. Having no family ties, she could permit herself to travel freely in a way not normally permitted to women, often 'recluses' in the private space of the house and of the family.

Among the journeys, first among those being that which had brought her from her country of origin to Florence, Blagden had the possibility to come away from stability the 'known' world which she had left behind to enter into the realm of change, of modification, of fragmentation. But for Blagden, a middle-class English woman, to travel meant only partially to be removed from stability.

One could define most of her journeys as 'codified'; for the Anglo-Americans residing in Italian cities it was in fact a rooted habit to leave the place chosen as the fixed abode to spend long periods elsewhere. Isabella Blagden, like many of the Anglo-Florentines, left the Tuscan city during the summer months, even if, because of her precarious economic condition, she could not afford to leave suffocating Florence every year. Sebbene virtualmente il territorio italiano potesse essere visitato per tutta la sua estensione, Blagden, come gran parte delle viaggiatrici straniere, si limitava a ricalcare un percorso classico che risaliva ai tempi del Grand Tour.

Blagden was often culpable also as to the conventional goals she chose. The itinerary followed was constructed on a map of Italy that was very selective. Even if all the Italian territory could have been visited everywhere, Blagden, like the great part of the foreign travellers, limited her itinerary to the classic journey that arose at the time of the Grand Tour.

According to an ancient preconception there were only some cities that were worthwhile visiting and then eventually describing. This itinerary was, though not perceived as such, a veritable cultural crippling; in fact the peninsula space was delimited by a series of confines which divided accessible spaces the great cities of art from those that were not accessible for example the Adriatic coast.

In , following the Anglo-American fashion of the period, she came to Bagni di Lucca, where she hoped to pass the summer months peaceably. The Brownings were already comfortably lodged at 'Casa Betti', when Blagden arrived accompanied by Annette Bracken who at that period shared the villa Brichieri-Colombi with the writer and Robert Lytton. She took lodging in a hotel, the 'Pelican', but the holdiday was far other than peaceable, seeing that Lytton soon took ill. Bagni di Lucca was a holiday place that particularly pleased the Brownings, who came there in the summers of and In Blagden's mind however the place became associated with unpleasing memories and Elizabeth Barrett was sure that she would never return.

Nevertheless, ten years later the writer returned to the Luccan hills and this time succeeded in appreciating their beauty, so much that she remained for several months, from May to October in Anche Blagden prese in affitto una villa nelle vicinanze.

That at Bagni di Lucca was not the only holiday spent with the Brownings. In September she was, together with Kate Field, a guest at Villa Alberti, a building situated in the Sienese countryside, which the Brownings had rented for the summer and where the following year the married couple returned to stay. Even Blagden came to rent a villa in the vicinity. That summer, beside, in the Sienese countryside were also Landor and the sculptor William Wetmore Story and his family.

Barrett Browning herself affirmed: Afterwards, Blagden returned to spend the summer in Siena in , when Barrett Browning and Landor were already deceased and Robert Browning was for a long time in England. Apart from places like Bagni di Lucca and the Sienese countryside, which during the summer months came to be colonized by Anglo-Americans, for Isa Blagden visits to Rome and Venice were very important, the two Italian cities which, together with Florence, foreign tourists considered more worthy of attention.

The term 'visit' is not at all exact in reference to Rome, given that Blagden on two occasions resided in the cities for various months. Although Florence was the chosen place of residence for a great number of writers, few artists among whom we must, however, remember Hiram Powers, a dear friend of Blagden had decided to establish themselves definitively in the Tuscan capital, preferring Rome.

The list of sculptors and painters who made the future capital their place of permanent or at least prolonged residence, is long and includes among others John Gibson, William Wetmore Story, William Page and Harriet Hosmer, all persons with whom Blagden was in contact. Sometimes it happened that those who chose Florence as their adoptive city, would pass some months of the year, in particular those of the winter, at Rome.

Blagden therefore, with her choise of staying for a period in the city preferred by artists, could not but follow the ingrained habit of the Anglo-Americans resident in Florence. Even the Brownings passed more than one winter in the 'Eternal City'. For Blagden this immersion in the Rome 'of the artists' was most useful from the literary point of view, suffice to think of her first novel, Agnes Tremorne , whose eponymous protagonist, is an English painter who lives in Rome.

The writer returned to Rome in later periods, but never again rented a house; here she was a guest of those who knew her, as when in she was welcomed by Charlotte Cushman. Isabella Blagden probably went to Venice almost certainly before , the year in which her second work in prose, The Woman I Loved and the Woman who Loved Me, was published. The city is in fact one of the places in which she develops the story, although the novel is mainly set in England. It is certain anyway that the writer returned there in May , as guest of William Bracken, relative of that Annette Bracken, with whom she had shared Villa Brichieri-Colombi.

It was a particularly sad time for the writer, since shortly before her friend Theodosia Trollope had died, whom she had nursed during the last days of her illness. The journey however succeeded in distracting her and gave the inspiration for an article, titled 'A Holiday in Venice', which was published in Cornhill Magazine , in October of that same year.

Isabelle Blagden did not limit herself to travel in Italy, often going for long periods also abroad. From November to March of the following year, she stayed in Madrid. In July of the writer visited Austria, but England was the place which she visited as often as she could permit herself to do so. Principally she chose London as goal, but visited also other areas, almost always as a guest of friends.

She went to that country in and later between and She left Villa Brichieri-Colombi at the death of Elizabeth Barrett Browning with the intention of settling in the British Isles, but after about a year returned to Bellosguardo.

She returned to England in the summer of and in that of when she also visited Scotland. Blagden's last visit to that country goes back to the summer of In January of the following year she died. During Isa Blagden's lifetime travel played a fundamental role and this is noted also in her novels: Blagden drew the material for her writing from her pilgrimages; although she had not left works that could be placed in the field of travel literature, in her novels and in her poems are visible traces that witness to her experiences as a traveller.

Blagden 'appropriates' the space she encountered while travelling in her writing; her interior life was transformed into something she could transmit. So then it was the Italian cities she had visited and in which she had lived which became the argument of her articles, the point of departure for composing a poem, the setting for her novels.

The death of the author of Aurora Leigh , in June of , was the first and perhaps the greatest break in Blagden's circle of friends. In the summer of the same year the young journalist Kate Field, who had lived for a time at Villa Brichieri with Blagden, returned to America. Four years after the 'closure' of Casa Guidi, Villino Trollope also ceased to exist, because Thomas Adolphus, after the death of his mother and of his wife, decided to sell the property and establish himself at Ricorboli.

Of the three dwellings that had been such important gathering places for English-speaking persons, remained only Blagden's villa, and that no longer the Brichieri-Colombi. To say the truth, after the death of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, even Isabella Blagden had thought of leaving the Florentine capital to move to England, as witnesses a letter that Robert Browning wrote to the sculptor William Wetmore Story.

Blagden remained away from Italy from August of until the same month of the following year. In England she was constrained, for economic reasons, to change addresses frequently; besides she felt physically the change in climate and her health began to worsen. Even Browning realized that for Blagden to continue to live in England was not advisable; in a letter he begged her to return to Italy where 'the life there and ways are become yours'.

Returning to her hill at Bellosguardo Isabella Blagden rented the Villa Giglioni where she remained until From to Isabella Blagden lived in a house called Isetta, then she moved to one which was to be her last dwelling: Questi si rivelarono soprattutto anni di intensa produzione artistica: In all these houses Blagden continued to receive her friends, but the gatherings never returned to being those of the time when Elizabeth Barrett Browning was still alive.

These are revealed above all as years of intense artistic production: Dal , data della pubblicazione della prima opera, al , anno della sua morte, ha scritto complessivamente sei romanzi, cinque dei quali pubblicati in volume e il rimanente apparso a puntate su una rivista. Isa Blagden did not begin to write when very young; in fact, her Agnes Tremorne was published when the writer was more than From , from the publication of her first work, to , the year of her death, she wrote in all six novels, five of them published in volumes and the last appearing serially in a review.

Infatti, viene considerata semplicemente come una scrittrice di sottordine, una delle tante lady writers vittoriane, che scriveva romanzi di stampo sentimentale per ragioni meramente economiche. The reconstruction of the figure of Blagden cannot omit her works, which instead have been undervalued. In fact, she is considered simply as a writer of the lower sort, one of the many Victorian lady writers, who wrote sentimental novels for merely economic reasons.

The literary canon that functions as a parameter of value and taste, seems to have irremediably relegated her works to the region of 'low', popular literature. Thus these texts have been at first marginalized and later forgotten.

We cannot deny that Blagden's texts contain pages which are artistically lacking: And it is also undeniable that Blagden's tendency to submit herself both to the exigencies of the publishing market which required triple decker novels or novels adapted for serial publication and to the norms that Victorian society dictated to women's productivity.

One thinks of her themes, such as love and marriage and the 'just' ending, almost always present, that determined the marriage or the death of the rebellious heroine. Notwithstanding this the works of Blagden have some literary merit; the plots are enthralling and the writer succeeds in safeguarding her originality.

Ma i suoi romanzi sono interessantissimi soprattutto se di considera il discorso dei diritti delle donne, che entra a far parte dei suoi scritti. But her romances are most interesting above all when considering the discourse on the rights of woman, which enters into part of her writings. Isabella Blagden created very beautiful female figures, who take up a primary role within the narrative structure, questioning the position of women within Victorian society and proposing different choices that those dictated by her contemporary culture.

Among these the single woman and the shared living among women as alternative to the conjugal marriage and the demand to the right to work, to be compensated in the same way as are men. Lo scrittore anglofiorentino pensava che la morte prematura avrebbe potuto essere evitata; spiega come Isa vivesse sola e come fosse ostinata a non voler chiamare un medico quando si trattava della sua salute.

Thomas Adolphus Trollope records in his autography the sad passing of his friend. The Anglo-Florentine writer thought that the premature death could have been averted; he explained how Isa lived alone and was obstinate about not calling for a doctor when it came to her health. The doctor only visited her the second day of her illness, but Trollope thought that she could have been cured. The writer was momentarily absent from Florence and when he returned he learned of the news of his friend's demise.

Isabella Blagden was buried in the Protestant Cemetery of Florence, besides the numerous and dear friends who shared with her the love for the city and for Italy. The truth was that nobody knew anything about Miriam, either for good or evil. She had made her appearance without introduction, had taken a studio, put her card upon the door, and showed very considerable talent as a painter in oils.

Gay and Bird, Grove, vol II, I, e vol. II, ; e Browning, Dearest Isa , II, 14 e segg. I call him our adopted son. Per il diminutivo vedere anche Trollope, che a tal proposito scrive: Browning, Dearest Isa , She suffered too much last time — and she hates the place besides. She goes to Clifton, in all probability, where Miss Cobbe is to see her comfortably settled. I cannot believe she will bear the change.

But if you were up at Clifton and suffering beside, I should be practically as far off as if you were at Florence.

Edward C McAleer Publisher: Matthew Arnold, Thyrsis 1. Vi avrebbe soggiornato con i genitori e la sorella fino al giugno del seguente anno. Nel corso del soggiorno Susan tenne un diario ora conservato negli archivi del British Institute di Firenze. In quel diario sono nominati i quattro personaggi che sono accomunati dal loro essere sepolti nel cimitero presso Porta a Pinti e di cui si occupa questa relazione.

Susan Horner and her sister Joanna were the third and the sixth daughters of Leonard Horner the geologist and social reformer, and nieces of Francis Horner, co-founder of the Edinburgh Review and politician. All the sisters except Mary published in their lifetimes, either original works or translations from the German and the Italian. The family was very well connected in liberal intellectual circles.

Infine Leonora aveva sposato lo storico tedesco Georg Heinrich Pertz. Vasta era la rete di rapporti che la famiglia intratteneva con gli ambienti intellettuali liberali. Once in Florence, and unlike the majority of English residents of the period, the Horners made the acquaintance of and mixed with Italian residents. Some introductions to these people came through their friend the scientist and astronomer Mary Somerville who was by then living in Italy. Susan herself spent a great deal of her time researching at the Uffizi with the help of Migliarini.

Moving on to the tombs, the first thing to be said about all four tombs under discussion is how very English they are, and more than just English they are Victorian. It is as though the Victorian way of death has been lifted from English soil and replanted in Florence. In the case of one of the four, both stone and body were quite literally transplanted.

Venendo adesso a parlare delle tombe, possiamo subito osservare come tutte e quattro rivelino un gusto marcatamente inglese, per non dire vittoriano. I take up the tomb of Arthur Hugh Clough first, both because, unlike the other three, he was not a member of the Horner household and because his death is chronologically the first. Clough had been to Italy before. In the s he worked as an administrator until his health drove him abroad. His arrival in Florence in October was the last stop on that journey.

Amici degli Horner, Clough e la moglie Blanche arrivarono a Firenze il 12 ottobre Dal diario apprendiamo anche dei rituali che ne circondarono la morte: As the symbol of a solar deity it wards off evil and protects sacred territory from malign influences. Tale immagine, circondata da serpenti, rappresenta un motivo frequente sugli stipiti e le porte degli antichi tempi egizi, allontanando il male e proteggendo dagli spiriti maligni.

All her six daughters are mentioned on the tomb, though only Susan and Joanna are named. This is verse nine of the poem and it has been transcribed accurately to the stone,.

Tutte e sei le figlie vengono ricordate sulla lapide, anche se solo i nomi di Susan e Joanna vi sono menzionati. Nel suo diario Susan rivela quanto pesasse alla famiglia di dover lasciare la madre sepolta a Firenze: So, Leonard Horner intended to revisit the tomb as early as but died before he could do so. The Latin inscription carved around the medallion tells us that the children have done what the husband wished.

A puzzle here requires further research. Beside Anne Horner's plot is one that is apparently empty. Ma a questo punto si apre un ulteriore interrogativo. Forse Leonard Horner aveva ipotizzato di potervi seppellire altri componenti della famiglia?

Here we are assisted by the two remaining tombs. Pertanto le sorelle dovevano probabilmente essere tornate nuovamente in Italia durante gli anni per rifinire il libro che sarebbe stato pubblicato nel Ad arricchire il mosaico troviamo le altre due tombe che abbiamo menzionato. Ambedue morirono in un periodo cui il diario di Susan non fa riferimento ma ambedue vi vengono menzionate. Ecco quanto si legge sulla lapide della piccola Joanna: This child died in England in aged five and a half.

Her tombstone in the English cemetery here in Florence was made in England. The lead lettering on stone will be familiar to anyone who has visited English cemeteries.

The stone informs us though that her remains were brought to Florence a year and a half after her death. Following the customary Biblical reference are some jumbled lines from that same Longfellow poem Resignation. The lines are taken from verses six and seven of this thirteen verse poem,. Ma da questa invece apprendiamo che i suoi resti mortali furono portati a Firenze un anno e mezzo dopo la sua morte. In that great cloister's stillness and seclusion, By guardian angels led, Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution, She lives, whom we call dead,.

After her birth on 15 December this child became the focus of attention in the household. There was a strong bond between Leonard Horner and Massimiliano. Da quando era nata, il 15 dicembre , la bambina aveva costituito un centro di attrazione per tutta la famiglia Horner. Non solo era stata chiamata Joanna, ma portava anche il cognome della famiglia Horner. Margaret Edmund Zileri died in Florence in , aged only Margaret Edmund Zileri era morta a Firenze nel , a soli quarantanove anni.

Did the Zileris return to Florence in with the Horner sisters? It is safe to assume that this was the case. Champollion le jeune, Lettre a M. The bridegroom was thirty-eight and the bride was thirty-two. The service was officiated by the very Reverend Richard Maul. The best man was William Rossetti, civil servant, art critic and chronicler to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. An affectionate kiss given to this young attendant was to become a cherished memory for many years to come.

Seen also in Fanny Holman Hunt's portrait by her husband, painted in Florence, later given to her sister, and his second wife, Edith. It was not until August , instead of the early spring as originally planned, that the happy couple finally left England for the Holy Land.

Hunt wanted to return to the East in order to continue his pursuit of painting the actual sites of Biblical events. Hunt heard that it was possible to embark from Leghorn and reach Alexandria via Malta. Despite Fanny being heavily pregnant he decided they would cross the Maritime Alps to Florence.

When they reached Florence they heard that bans has been imposed on all Italian ports and that Egypt had been quarantined also. Lodgings were secured at 32 Via Montebello with a studio for Hunt. Using his attractive wife as a model Hunt set to work painting.

He asked her to pose in a standing position for many hours. This placed great strains upon her constitution as she was constantly bathed in perspiration from the merciless heat, with swollen feet and of course, the baby becoming heavier. The reason he did not use professional models was not because of financial restraint but because he was so enamoured with his wife.

These items they believed to be shrewd investments for the future. According to Consular records on October 27th Fanny gave birth to a son with an Italian doctor in attendance. The delivery was a difficult and painful one with forceps being used as a necessity. She finally contracted both puerperal and miliary fevers this last fever common to Florence and died on December 20th exhausted.

Her death was eight days short of her first wedding anniversary. Hunt and the Waughs were totally distraught. Their offers were refused and a wet-nurse found.

Hunt placed the baby in the care of his English friends the Spencer Stanhopes whose own child had died. Hunt then moved from the rooms he had shared with Fanny because they held too many potent memories. He rented a new studio at 14, Lungarno Acciajoli. This new studio had been recently vacated by his friend the artist Simeon Solomon. Her body was buried in the English Cemetery Florence.

He arranged a wetnurse for his son and commissioned a stonemason to work on a tomb in memory of Fanny. He finally arrived on October 9th at Queensborough Terrace, London with a dying Cyril but his sensible mother-in-law realised that the child was starving and that the wet-nurse had no milk. The nurse was promptly dismissed and the child was fed.

Cyril began to thrive. The villa is probably one of the most impressive of the Medici Villas in Florence and was surrounded by a beautiful garden. Villa Medici is towards the top. Hunt used the stables as a studio. William Blundell Spence, an affluent amateur dealer in Florentine art, was his landlord. It was during this second stay that he painted Bianca currently in the Galleria degli Uffizi exhibition, 'I giardini delle regine' ,. Tuscan Straw Plaiters and a number of views of Florence.

During this period he sketched a self-portrait which shows him with a shaggy mane of a beard sitting alone in a restaurant drinking Chianti. By this we know that Hunt had not with him stone-working tools of his own.

He then set to work in earnest designing a tomb worthy of the memory of his beloved wife Fanny. A plan of the design exists on paper. It is interesting that Hunt, whom we regard as a painter and who we know made models in clay in order to assist his painting, felt competent enough to tackle this project.

We know that he was friendly with Alexander Munro and Thomas Woolner his brother-in-law both sculptors, yet this does not explain his confidence in this trade. There has been comparatively little research into these sculptural abilities of this major Pre-Raphaelite artist.

The tomb is sarcophagus in shape upon a sandstone pedestal. The pedestal has begun to flake at the corners and in areas which are in contact with the ground. The principal part of the monument appears to be carved from a type of limestone which over the years has become granular and sugary in texture due to natural erosion, the elements and pollution.

The sarcophagus appears to be floating upon waves. Diaper patterns have been carved into the stone separating the sarcophagus into a base and cover. Lilies are at each end, but at one end they embellish a large cross, while on the other they surround a Pelican in its Piety. The 'Pelican in its Piety' is unusual in seeming also to be a dove and holding in its beak an olive branch, as in the account of Noah and the Ark, conflating both images.

Ornamental medallions are incised into the stone, one of which is a trefoil and triangle entwined, and the following texts are written in the medallions: The inscription on the tomb makes references to floods, waters and love. Hunt wishes to convey to his loved one that there is no need for to her to be fearful in her journey into the unknown.

Jesus Christ is with her. He then expresses the point that their love for each other transcends both the spiritual world the Kingdom of Heaven and the Earth itself. The tomb decoration abounds with symbolic meaning. The most dramatic and competent of the carving is the waves upon which the tomb appears to float.

Water symbolically represents purification and the Christian sacrament of baptism — the cleansing of the soul from Original Sin. John the Baptist baptised Jesus in the river Jordan. According to the Bible and the Creation we are told that water was created on the second day. Water represents salvation of our spiritual life and it is an attribute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception. The comparison made is between Mary our spiritual Mother and Fanny being the earthly mother of Cyril Benoni, her baby son.

We are told in Genesis 2: In the Middle Ages these rivers symbolised the Gospels. Often in early Christian Art Christ or the Lamb Agnes Dei is represented standing on a small mound from which four streams flow. He is therefore the river or fountain of life. In mythology the fountain in the Garden of Love is crowned by the figure of Cupid, a comforting thought for a grieving widower. Also Charon is the ferryman who rowed the souls of the dead across one of the four rivers of Hades.

The river across which he rowed was the Styx where the infant Achilles was dipped. Ferrymen represented in Christian Art are St. Lilies are a motif used on the tomb. They are a symbol of purity particularly associated with our Blessed Virgin Mary. In depictions of the Annunciation they may be held in the hand of the Angel Gabriel or seen in a vase.

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