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Picturing a World

Lilias Trotter

Although Lilias Trotter studied informally with John Ruskin, she probably thought of herself primarily as a missionary, not as an artist. Yet no one can paint with her flair without its meaning a lot to her. In other words, like many multi-talented people with strong callings, Trotter was complex. Personally, I dislike fictionalized biographies. Secondary and walk-on parts for real people in historical fiction? Of course. But it takes chutzpah to pretend to "bring them to life" as central characters. Still, if discovering someone like Lilias Trotter prompts a wholly fictional character to emerge in my imagination and demand that her story to be told, won't I be grateful!

Image via James Gurney. For a website devoted to her, click here.

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