A look at the lives of women artists throughout the ages

Bowen Island author Carol Cram has recently completed and published her third novel, making a trilogy of stories on the lives of female artists at various times and places throughout history. What’s changed, “not that much in a lot of ways,” says Cram, but writing the stories, even fictional ones, at least acknowledges that such women existed.

The first book, the Towers of Tuscany, tells the story of Sofia, a painter in 14th Century Italy.

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“I didn’t even know if women painters existed in that world,” says Cram. “I learned that no one knows, for sure, but that they probably did. Painters at the time did not sign their work, but it is more than likely that there were women whose fathers were painters and had workshops, so they took up the craft as well.”

The second book, A Woman of Note, tells the story of Isabette, a composer in Vienna during the 1830s.

“I learned that there were many female composers in this period, and concert pianists as well,” says Cram. “It was hard for anyone to be taken seriously as a composer, and to be anything more than impoverished, but this was even more the case for a woman. Clara Shumann is one of the notable female composers of that time, although she was not recognized as a composer until after her death. In her life she was known for her performance of other people’s work. She happened to also have seven children, and a husband who lost his mind.”

The third book, Muse of Fire, tells the story of an actress named Grace performing in London, 1809.

“The story hinges on real events, and Sarah Siddens, who was perhaps the greatest actress of her age, is incorporated into the story,” says Cram. “The theatre was one of the only places in this era where a woman was really allowed to shine. It is not so different now…”

Cram will launch The Muse of Fire in mid-February. The book is currently available for download from Amazon, and The Undercurrent would LOVE to print a review of this latest work by Carol Cram in the lead-up to the launch. Please connect with us or Carol if you are up for taking it on!

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