HAVE been reading a novel by Wilkie Collins lately (cannot tell you the name yet), and the plot has been interesting and engaging so far. I have done some researches on him while reading the novel, and realised that almost every close relative of his is an inborn painter! Like father, like son, ain’t it?

Charles's impression of his elder brother Wilkie
Charles’s impression of his elder brother, Wilkie Collins

Charles Allston Collins (1828-1873) – Although he has close connection to members of Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he was never made an official one. To me, he was a victim of unrequited love! After being rejected by Maria Rossetti, he was married to Dickens’s daughter, Kate.

The Good Harvest (1854)
The Good Harvest (1854)
Convent Thoughts (1850-51)
Convent Thoughts (1850-51)

Kate was also a painter of the 19th century. I believe she must be a beautiful woman as she was portrayed several times by a fascinating Pre-Raphaelite artist called John Everett Millais. Millais is one of my favourite members of the Pre-Raphaelite Club.

Kate Perguini
Kate Dickens (by Perugini)
The Black Brunswicker (1880) Kate was used as a model in the above painting by Millais
The Black Brunswicker (1880) Kate was used as a model in the painting by Millais

After Charles’s death, Kate was remarried to another artist, whose name was Charles Edward Perugini.

A painting by Perguini

So many connections right? Wilkie Collins was Dickens’s son-in-law’s brother. And who knows that Charles Dickens, in fact, didn’t like Pre-Raphaelite paintings! What an irony to him when he saw his daughter appearing on those paintings of Millais! Do you know if there were any more connections between these two novelists of the Victorian era?


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Wong Sarah

Making reading the essential part of my life

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