Margaret Sandbach: A Tragedy in Marble and Ink, 2013

This is one of my favourite books. Margaret Sandbach (1812-1852) is a lost heroine of the Victorian age – an early survivor of breast cancer and mastectomy, whose close relationship with John Gibson produced some of the most celebrated sculpture of the age.  Her several volumes of poems, together the letters and diaries of Margaret, her husband and Gibson, reveal a complex and tragic story of love, patronage and grief in the genteel surroundings of her home at Hafodunos.  Margaret was a woman of remarkable ability, whose relatively fleeting life is preserved through her extensive writing and patronage of Gibson. The book tells the story of the relationships between Margaret, her husband and the famous sculptor John Gibson in their own words, using letters, diaries and poetry. Fragments of Margaret Sandbach’s life of achievement and tragedy survive, scattered across the country. The book takes the form of a meandering pilgrimage to Hafodunos, Margaret’s beautiful, but derelict North Wales home. The sculpture gallery she inspired there is under restoration, following the recent fire that threatened to obliterate her greatest legacy.

Back in September 2013, Manuel Vason was commissioned by Cardiff-based production company Truth Department to create  images specific to the site of the ruins of Hafodunos in Wales. This was for the publication ‘Margaret Sandbach – A Tragedy in Marble and Ink’, by Mark Baker & Dewi Gregory. The project was based on the life of Victorian poet Margaret Sandbach, who was modelled by the artist Michelle Outram.

Find out more more about the project and order a copy of the book here

Book Details:

Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust (8 Nov. 2013)
Language: English and Welsh
ISBN-10: 0992724104
ISBN-13: 978-0992724108
Product Dimensions: 29.7 x 15 x 21 cm

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