First published in The Irish Examiner for International Women’s Day In 1852, a young woman named Lizzie Siddal lay in a bathtub of ice water while John Everett Millais painted her as Ophelia. You know the painting I’m talking about. A red-haired woman lies listlessly in a river, her hands and face just barely breaking the water’s surface. She is breathlessly fragile, and being swept along in the most exquisite rendition of drowning that art has ever known.
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