Divided Affections, The Extraordinary Life of Maria Cosway

Posted Nov 27, 2008 at 20:38 CET in Artists, Books, and People.

Divided Affections, The Extraordinary Life of Maria Cosway by Carol Burnell
I was very kindly given this book months ago to review, but university plus myself being a slow reader resulted in me not finishing it until yesterday.

I had been wanting to learn more about Maria Cosway so I was very happy to receive the book. I was happily surprised to find that it was such a beautiful book, with many pictures and a beautiful layout. Pictures are a huge plus for me so I liked this book right away.

It’s a biography about Maria Cosway, with some parts written in a dramatized dialogue. The parts that are “made up” are in italics so you can clearly tell them from the rest which I think was a nice touch. Maria Cosway had a very interesting life and the book is very entertainingly written, not boring at all. It really made you feel like you were there, and I just really liked it. I have yet to read all the notes at the back of the book but there are lots of them and they look very interesting.

A great book and highly recommended to anyone interested in Maria Cosway or fashionable 18th century ladies in general.

(As a lover of 18th century fashion I have to point out a tiny fashion-related error. At one place in the book a dress is described which is clearly a so called chemise dress, also known as a gaulle or chemise à la Reine, but in the book it’s called a robe à l’ Anglaise.)