Scandal…very much the gossip or tittle tattle of its age. Scandal could destroy a ladies reputation in the Victorian Era and yet i’m not sure if that was really the case with Euphemia Chalmers Millais or Effie Gray as she was commonly known.
Effie was part of a love triangle between herself, her husband art critic John Ruskin and the pre-raphelite artist John Everett Millais.
Born in Perth, Scotland. Her family knew John Ruskin’s father. He encouraged a love match between them. Ruskin wrote the fantasy novel The King of the Golden River for her in 1841 when she was twelve years old which seems a little weird and creepy to us nowadays but times were different and love matches were made from a very early age.
They were married in 1848 but their relationship apparently got into difficulties as they were two very different people, Effie very outgoing and John quite repressive. Their marriage was not consummated which seems very odd and apparently remained so when Effie met John Everett Millais five years later.
Effie began modelling for Millais and became closer when he accompanied the couple on a trip to Scotland in order to paint Ruskin’s portrait and it was here in Brig o’ Turk in the Trossaschs they fell in love. Normally this would have been disastrous for a lady leading to certain ruin and poverty and yet her family and friends supported her, because of the lack of consummation the marriage was annulled 1854, it was indeed scandalous and was widely reported in the press.
In the following year Effie married John Millais and they lived happily and went on to have eight children and the scandal has been made into a film called ‘Effie’.
Effie is written by Oscar winner Emma Thompson and directed by Richard Laxton who is very much acquainted the Victorian Era via the remake of Poldark in 1996. Eiffie is played by the very talented Dakota Fanning in her first adult role.
It is due for release this year but no definite date has been published