29 March 2013 5:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Ruskin's marriage to Effie, annulled for non-consummation, still provokes speculation. A new book may explain everything

The scandal surrounding John Ruskin, his wife Effie, and John Everett Millais still fascinates a century and a half after the events. What makes it famous is that it wasn't a sex scandal but a non-sex scandal.

The circumstances in which Effie left her husband for the pre-Raphaelite artist have generated at least half a dozen books as well as an opera, a silent film and assorted plays. One of the plays, The Countess, was at the centre of a just-resolved copyright dispute between its author, Gregory Murphy, and the actor Emma Thompson. Thompson has written the screenplay for Effie, a big-screen telling of the story starring her husband Greg Wise as Ruskin, Dakota Fanning as Effie and Tom Sturridge as Millais; the film is scheduled for release in May.

The outline is familiar. »

- Michael Prodger

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