The Ruskin/Gray/Millais Affair was one of the great scandals of Victorian England. Euphemia Chalmers Gray, known as Effie Gray, married the art critic John Ruskin (see today’s posting about “Venus Verticordia”. The marriage was never consummated.
“He alleged various reasons, hatred to children, religious motives, a desire to preserve my beauty, and, finally this last year he told me his true reason… that he had imagined women were quite different to what he saw I was, and that the reason he did not make me his Wife was because he was disgusted with my person the first evening 10th April.”
–Effie Gray, in a letter to her father
Five years into the marriage, the Ruskins and John Ruskin’s protégé, the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais, traveled to Scotland, where Millais was to paint Ruskin’s portrait….
Effie Gray, a film written by Emma Thompson, looks at the disastrous marriage and its aftermath. Dakota Fanning plays Effie, and the cast, in addition to Thompson herself, includes the usual suspects in this sort of movie: Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Derek Jacobi, David Suchet, James Fox, and Russell Tovey. Greg Wise plays Ruskin, and Tom Sturridge plays Millais.
The film opened in the UK on 10 October. The US release will be sometime in November.