A north Suffolk woman has made her first foray into the world of books by penning a biography of the wife of one of the most prominent art critics and philanthropists of the Victorian era.

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Linda Randall, from Wortham, has written the biography Effie Gray, Fair Maid of Perth about the life of Effie Gray, the wife of the influential English writer John Ruskin, who became particularly well-known during the latter part of the 19th century for his writing on subjects ranging from geology to architecture and myth to ornithology.

The book focuses on her marriage to Ruskin and how she learned to deal with it before the marriage descended into discord and was eventually annulled, but also deals with her relationship with Ruskin’s protégé, John Everett Millais, whom she went on to marry after the end of her marriage to Ruskin in a famous Victorian love triangle.

Linda, who has a grown up son and daughter, will be holding a book signing at Diss Publishing Bookshop in Mere Street on September 22, though the book is due to be launched this Monday.

Originally from Yorkshire, she read modern and medieval languages at Cambridge University and has taught French and Italian, as well as English as a foreign language at home and abroad.

She also has an MA in life-writing from the University of East Anglia and has won an Escalator Award for literature.

Prior to becoming an author, she wrote short stories, poetry and plays and has always had a particular interest in the 19th century.

She said the book would appeal to anyone interested in Victorian life and art, as well as people who have made wrong choices in their relationships.

The book will be available from Diss Publishing Bookshop, Waterstones Booksellers and through the website Amazon.

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