Effie Gray


Emma Thompson’s (as writer and co-star) production of Effie Gray has been held up for some time, but will finally be released in the UK on October 10 2014, and in the US in November.

The movie is about the marriage of Effie Gray to art critic and Pre-Raphaelite John Ruskin, who famously never consummated the marriage (supposedly, some historians say, because he was unable to deal with the realities of a mature woman, including pubic hair. I say yes, maybe, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it sounds like there may be some other issues going on there).

The movie is a relative Who’s Who of British actors, including Greg Wise (Mr. Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility) as Ruskin, plus Julie Waters, Derek Jacobi, and Thompson herself. The lead part is played by Dakota Fanning.

The costumes were designed by Ruth Myers, who also did The Golden Compass, The Painted Veil, LA Confidential, the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, and lots more.

Here’s some photos:

And here’s the trailer:


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

4 Responses

    • Robin the mad photographer

      I was reading fairly recently (I believe in a new biography of Effie; I apologize for not remembering the title/author’s name/etc.) that pubic hair per se might not have been the issue; rather, the author believed that Effie may have been menstruating on her wedding night, and THAT was what made Ruskin flip out. While I understand how suddenly being confronted with bloodied rags might be problematic, not to mention a real boner-killer, one would have thought that his parents would have explained things in more detail to him prior to his marriage…

      (Oh, and hi, Trystan! I remember you from the alt.gothic.fashion days–I didn’t post very often, but I’ve always enjoyed your writings and costuming!)

      • Trystan

        Lordy, those Victorian men & their hangups (tho’ I’m sure there are modern men with the same hangups, but hey, let’s just blame the Victorians for starting it all; it’s easy, lol). And glad to see some a.g.f.ers back around :)

  1. Roxana

    Ruskin later tried to marry another teenager suggesting he may have been an ephebephile, attracted to pubescents. The parents wrote to Effie and on her advice broke off the engagement.
    At least poor Effie got a happy ending with Millais.