If you haven’t already seen it, take a moment to visit Stephanie Pina’s Lizzie Siddal blog to read Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Lovers: Rossetti and Siddal. Stephanie found a 14 volume set of Elbert Hubbard’s Little Journeys at a local bookshop and she’s taken the time to transcribe and scan Hubbard’s rendition of the story of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal. I had a wonderful time reading it – it’s a charming and entertaining version of the story. I found Hubbard’s non-judgmental approach to Rossetti quite refreshing (you could say he tries a little too hard to make excuses for him, but I think Rossetti has enough critics). The story can also be found in Volume 13 of Hubbard’s Little Journeys, which is available on Project Gutenberg (along with a number of his other writings).
Those of you who are familiar with the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States will recognize Elbert Hubbard as one of the founders of the Roycrofters and the Roycroft Press. (His magazine, The Philistine, which was published by the Roycroft Press, is nearly as well known as the The Germ). Hubbard was heavily influenced by William Morris’ philosophy of the Arts and Crafts movement, and the Roycroft community in East Aurora, New York, was probably the most ardent attempt to see Morris’ socialist vision put into practice in the real world. His art colony may not have survived, but his writings remain available to readers as a window into his world.