Book - 2000
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Annie Phelan is an orphan child of the Irish potato famine and works in the home of Isabelle and Eldon Dashell. Isabelle is an aspiring photographer in the days when photography was a relatively new pastime, and one not particularly favoured by women. Eldon is a map maker who spends most of his time brooding in his study, dreaming of adventures he never went on. Annie is drawn into their lives and becomes part of a triangle that is bound to come apart in the end.
Publisher: Toronto : HarperFlamingoCanada, 2000.
ISBN: 9780002254991
Characteristics: 247 p. ;,22 cm.


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Apr 26, 2017

This is an entertaining novel, inspired by the Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron but not based on her life. However, the novel has many modern sensibilities, not reflecting Victorian times or attitudes. Like Cameron's photographs, the book is overly sentimental.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 05, 2014

Humphreys' beautifully crafted novel was inspired by the life of Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and her muse Annie, the young household maid. Obsessed with the then new medium of photography, the unconventional Isabelle finds herself shunned by her peers and estranged from her husband. Her mapmaker husband indulges his own passion for adventure by living vicariously through the biographies of the great Arctic explorers. Tension and jealousies erupt when he encourages the maid to join him on these imaginary adventures, forcing husband and wife to vie for Annie's attentions.

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