The Fairy Visions of Richard Dadd

(Peter Owen 2013)

In her ambitious and powerful seventh novel, Miranda Miller returns to Bethlem Hospital – Bedlam – where she left the eponymous heroine of her last, Nina in Utopia. Here we meet the celebrated Victorian painter Richard Dadd, confined to the hospital after committing patricide, who is haunted by vicious fairies, his dead father and the Egyptian god Osiris.

Dr Hood, the forward-thinking warden of Bedlam who has enlightened views about mental illness, is determined to reform the institution. In 1857 he gives Dadd a spacious room in which to paint, and with the doctor’s encouragement the artist begins to produce his best work, including The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke. But Dadd soon finds himself in 21st- century London where he glimpses the mysterious Nina and his own painting...

Miranda reading from the book at Brixton BookJam.

Royal Academy Magazine chooses The Fairy Visions of Richard Dadd, as one of their six Christmas books, December 2013:

“Described by his physician as a ‘sensitive person in brutal surroundings’, Richard Dadd, the Victorian painter who studied at the RA, was incarcerated in Bedlam for patricide at the height of his career. Haunted by childhood fairies and Shakespeare’s sprites, Dadd painted fantastical otherworlds that transported him beyond the hospital’s walls. Miller illuminates Dadd’s plight through a first-person narrative, and brings his paintings to life with vivid ekphrasis.” Daisy Taylor.

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Part 2 of the Bedlam Trilogy