Took place on Apl 19 at the Moniatis Hotel in Germasogeia. A n enjoyable event with 50+ in attendance. The presentation went well and sales paid the costs of the party, so couldn’t be bad. Pictures of the reading above.

Bookshelf, in Maroni News May 2011

You know the saying, I know nothing about art….

When Bi l l Macfarlane gave me a copy of his new book ‘the Gypsy model’, I didn’t realise I would be taking myself into hitherto unknown realms. Bill is a figure fairly well known around the island, partly for his excellent books on walks in Cyprus. Bill’s last book, ‘the Hunt for the Hassamboulia’ was a fictionalised account of sometime outlaws and renegades in the Paphos district.

This time, though, he has taken the same sort mixture of fact and fiction, surmise and speculation, to investigate the private lives of Fred Sands (aka Frederick Sandys – a real painter with a modest eputation), his gypsy model, Keomi Grey, and the whole gamut of Pre- Raphaelites and other almost-eminent Victorians. It is an educational read for the likes of myself; ‘Aha, yes, Ruskin, I remember him’, ‘Gabriel, now that would be Dante Gabriel Rosetti?’ Well spotted. Oh, and sister Christina makes a few  appearances too. Celeb-spotting in the 1860s.

There are bits that might make one think, ‘Hmmm, the author has gone too far there’, if it were not for the fact that he narrates his prejudices and suppositions as we progress. If you are looking for a book on walking, you will be disappointed, although Bill cannot resist sending his hero ‘oop north’ to try a spot of fell walking. If you want a book that entwines characters in a mesh of likely situations and juxtapositions, then be prepared to immerse yourself in the literary and artistic circles of the mid-19th century.


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