Here is a lovely letter from someone called Allyson, sent to my husband’s wonderful Red Hand Files about my favourite photographer and her model. It is such a sweet letter. Thank you. Allyson. Love, Susie x
Dear Nick and Susie,
I was going to write in with a bit on Julia Margaret Cameron but I noticed The Vampire’s Wife already had two posts on her. I would like to say that the woman in the photo is Mary Ann Hillier. In the book’ Cameron’s Women’ the author writes that Mary Ann Hillier “…remained Cameron’s maid and favourite model until 1875, when the Cameron's moved back to Ceylon. In many of Cameron’s photographs, Hillier is posed as the Madonna. Her refined beauty appealed to other artists as well, including the painter George Frederic Watts, for whom she also modelled.” Mary Ann Hillier went on to marry and have 8 children.
Sincerely and with warm wishes,