Yes, Mademoiselle Victorine Louise Meurent would be 176 years old today! And she’s never looked better.
Best known, of course, as Édouard Manet’s favorite model, we now know she was much more than that. With my rediscovery of her recently recovered paintings, she’s been returned to the world as the artist she was and not only a model! For those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s my book trailer which features not only some of the paintings she modeled for, but HER paintings as well:
Not enough of the world knows about her yet, so could you do me a favor? If you’re reading this, could you please share a link to this post on social media? Thanks from me — and from Victorine!
So I’m trying to be punny with the headline and I’m not sure I’m succeeding. But I do hope you’re having a happy Valentine’s Day. My honey bought a together present for us, which made me so happy. Maybe I mentioned before that we picked out a China pattern when we were newly married but only started buying it to celebrate our 30th! (Don’t feel too sorry for us; we have a beautiful set in a different pattern handed down from his mother that we use.)
Meet the newest members which have already been pressed into service for several cups of tea. When I asked my dear Mr. Drudge whether they were to be put into everyday use or for special occasions, he said the latter, though I do tend to frown upon things being “saved.” I will try to honor his request, but we shall see…don’t you love this pattern, Royal Albert Old Country Roses?
P.S. He also bought me several wonderful books that I will try to forget about while I do my pressing day job duties for the new few days. More on those books soon! (And I bought him some nifty gifties as well. But I’ll let him share those with you in his own good time. Psst…he can often be found conversing with musicians on Twitter.)
And now, here’s what I’ve been building up to. Many, many thanks to the crew over at You Read it Here First and to Debbie A. McClure in particular for her glowing introduction of me and Victorine and her thoughtful interview. I am so touched. I’ll let you read her interview, but I have to share this quote because it warmed my heart: “It’s not often I find a kindred spirit in a writer who loves the craft of writing, art, and the joy of travel as much as I do, but author Drēma Drudge fits that bill. Wit and a serious respect for writing and art, Drēma takes the reader on a journey into the past that delights and educates at the same time.” Debbie A McClure.
Please go show the interview some love on Valentine’s Day!
Those of you who are familiar with my journey researching and writing Victorine know my main goal was to remind the world about Victorine Meurent and her art, not just her nude body depicted in paintings for which she is remembered — if that.
Y’all, this review by Gail M. Murray for Historical Novel Society has me so excited! Many, many thanks to her for her intelligent, nuanced review. Please read the entire review at the link below.
Murray goes on to say, “Aficionados of art history will relish this novel,” and make other insightful observations. I can’t thank her enough for her review.
P.S. Would it be vain to say this is review is a big get? I can’t pretend to be anything but utterly excited to have this review both on HNS’S website as well as in their print version. I can’t wait to receive mine in the mail…would you like a peek at it when I do?
I can’t read the headline of this post without wanting to sob. Those of you who have helped me spread the word about Victorine Meurent, thank you, thank you, thank you. Those who have opened your hearts and minds to this unconventional, imperfect but generous, loyal character, thank you.
If you haven’t bought your copy of Victorine yet, here’s the link.
And P.S. there are big, fun things ahead for the one-year anniversary of Victorine in March. More details as they emerge.
I was going to write one last post about Orlando by Virginia Woolf until I saw this gem on YouTube. It’s quite the fun LEGO-fueled take. It’s Orlando told in eleven minutes. Enjoy! I’m not at all sure I can add anything to it.
Our Autumn of Woolf has lost its leaves and unintentionally extended into winter. Because of that, I have decided to hold off on discussing ARoom of One’s Own indefinitely. And because I’m currently using that room of my own to write my third novel, and novels take lots of coddling.
Thank you for being here with me during these last few months. They’ve been lovely.
I am so honored that Victorine has had a shoutout from historical fiction writer Katherine Keenum on her website. She, too writes about artists sometimes. Check out her novel, Where the Light Falls, about an American woman art student who meets a Civil War veteran in Belle Époque Paris.
The title of this post kinda sounds like a comic book origin story special. This guest post I was honored to share over on the gracious Carol Cram’s Art in Fiction website is not that, but it does tell where the idea for Victorine came from. Please take a read if you’re curious about my novel’s birth. (And her website is awesome sauce!)
In other news, I asked Santa Barry for a stuffed lizard for Christmas. “A what?” he asked. I’m not known for admiring creepy crawlies, so it was a fair question. But I’ve been working with book marketer extraordinaire Sue Campbell of Pages & Platforms and she deals with writers’ mindset issues. Sue once brandished a plastic lizard on a call and inspired me; I knew I’d do well to have a lizard myself to talk back at when my old lizard brain tries to keep me safely in my comfort zone. (You’d be surprised at the fear that surrounds writing and marketing.)
BTW, I am taking creative license. Sue merely waved the lizard to show the mindset issue writers face. But it resonated with me.
So…presenting Reginald Dwight Drudge. The only trouble is, he’s so cute he’s hard to be stern with. He’s a cuddly fellow. But I do give him what for when he tries to keep me from reaching out to the media.
The Great Frost scene in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando is legendary. I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this bit from Simple Gifts, first broadcast way back for the Christmas of 1977. Animated by Tissa David and narrated by Hermione Gingold, it’s a fun holidaywatch.
(Many thanks to Blogging Woolf for bringing this to my attention on her blog!)