Book Review – The Glass House – Jody Cooksley

A poignant, elegant and richly detailed fictional account of 19th century photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron, and her quest to find and share her own creative voice. The Glass House brings an exceptional photographer to life.

What is a life without Art and Beauty? Not one that Julia chooses to live. And so she searches the world for both, discovering happiness through the lens of a camera.

From the depths of despair, with her relationships strained and having been humiliated by the artists she has given a home to, Julia rises to fame, photographing and befriending many of the day’s most famous literary, artistic, political and scientific celebrities.

But to succeed as a female photographer, she must take on the Victorian patriarchy, the art world and, ultimately, her own family. The doubts are not all from others. As Julia’s uneasy relationship with fame grows into a fear that the camera has taken part of her soul, her search leads her full circle, back to India, in her lifelong quest for peace and beauty.

Julia Margaret Cameron was a pioneer photographer, now widely acknowledged as one of the 19th century’s most important portraitists, although her work was contentious in her lifetime. Dimbola House, her home and studio on the Isle of Wight, remains a museum of her life and work. The Glass House is a work of fiction based on her extraordinary life.

JODY COOKSLEY is a writer and journalist with a love of great stories. She has always admired the work of Julia Margaret Cameron and is delighted to be sharing Julia’s story. The Glass House is her first published novel and she’s currently working hard to finish her second. Jody works in communications and lives in Surrey with her husband and two sons.

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