Woman of Design, A Man of Passion:
The Pioneering McIans


By Belinda Morse
July 2002
Book Guild
ISBN: 1-85776-583-4
306 pages, Illustrated, 9" x 10 "
$48.95 Paper Original


A Woman of Design, A Man of Passion is the first biography of the McIans. The elopement of the Fanny and Ronald McIan led to an exciting, pioneering partnership between the Bath cabinetmaker's daughter and her Scottish actor/artist husband, which lasted throughout their married life. As successful Victorian painters, their pictures were remarkably alike in style and subject matter, and both were ahead of their time in painting scenes of Scottish history and legend. Away from their easels their paths separated. Fanny was chosen to be the first Superintendent of the Female School of Design, while Ronald made a name on the London and Edinburgh stages as a talented character actor. The McIans had a wide circle of friends, including Charles Dickens, and this in-depth account of their energetic lives opens a new window on the literary and artistic world of Victorian London.

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