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Hair-mad Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s obsession with redheads | Letters

There is a precedent for the Taylor Wessing portrait prize’s “obsession with red-haired young women” reported by your correspondent Norman Miller (Letters, 19 November). In a letter written in October 1859 Elizabeth Gaskell reported her experiences with Dante Gabriel Rossetti at two evening parties: “I think we got to know Rossetti pretty well … I had a good deal of talk with him, always excepting the times when ladies with beautiful hair came in … It did not signify what we were talking about or how agreeable I was; if a particular kind of reddish brown, crepe wavy hair came in, he was away in a moment struggling for an introduction to the owner of said head of hair. He is not as mad as a March hare, but hair-mad.”

Nothing changes.
Alan Shelston
Bowdon, Greater Manchester

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