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The Militant Muse

The Militant Muse documents what it meant to be young, ambitious and female in the context of an avant-garde movement defined by celebrated men whose educational, philosophical and literary backgrounds were often quite different from those of their younger lovers and companions.

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£19.99
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Dimensions 23.4 x 2.5 x 15.3cm
Fabric & material Paperback
No. of Pages 256
SKU 12091924

Delivery & returns information

Service Update (updated 19 March 2020)

We want to make sure your order reaches you as safely as possible. Therefore, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, all orders will be dispatched once the RA has reopened. We will be in touch once the RA has reopened and once your order has been dispatched. 

During this period our Returns Policy will be extended. For any order queries, please Contact Us

Free UK delivery on orders £50 and over

International delivery is based on weight and delivery country, and will be calculated at Checkout

Our small team are working as quickly and safely as possible to prepare and send online orders.

Our last order date is 12 December 2021 for your gifts to arrive in time for Christmas. For more information on delivery times and terms, please click here.

Enjoy free shipping on orders above £50. £5.95 P&P for orders below £50. International delivery will be calculated at Checkout. We have temporarily stopped shipping to EEA countries. 

Updated 19 May 2020

We are delivering! Enjoy free shipping on orders above £50. £5.95 P&P for orders below £50. International delivery will be calculated at Checkout. The Royal Academy is temporarily closed, Collection is not available at this time.

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Product story

Focusing on the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, Whitney Chadwick charts five intense, far-reaching female friendships among the Surrealists to show how Surrealism, female friendship and the experiences of war, loss and trauma shaped individual women’s transitions from beloved muses to mature artists. Her vivid account includes the fascinating story of Claude Cahun and Suzanne Malherbe’s subversive activities in occupied Jersey, as well as the experiences of Lee Miller and Valentine Penrose at the frontline. Chadwick draws on personal correspondence between women, including the extraordinary letters between Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini during the months following the arrest and imprisonment of Carrington’s lover Max Ernst at the beginning of World War Two, and the letter Frida Kahlo shared with her friend and lover Jacqueline Lamba years after it was written in the late 1930s during a difficult stay in Paris, marred by her intense dislike of Breton.

Thoroughly engrossing, this history brings a new perspective to the political context of Surrealism, as well as fresh insights on the vital importance of female friendship to its artistic and intellectual flowering.

With 85 illustrations

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