Home » A Type of Beauty, The story of Kathleen Newton 1854-1882 by Patricia OReilly
A Type of Beauty, The story of Kathleen Newton 1854-1882 Patricia  OReilly

A Type of Beauty, The story of Kathleen Newton 1854-1882

Patricia OReilly

Published September 10th 2012
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Kindle Edition
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A Type of Beauty, the story of Kathleen Newton 1854-1882Prologue. London, 1933 – An uninvited man wearing the uniform of a lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery turns up at retrospective of paintings done by French artist, Jacques Tissot. TheMoreA Type of Beauty, the story of Kathleen Newton 1854-1882Prologue. London, 1933 – An uninvited man wearing the uniform of a lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery turns up at retrospective of paintings done by French artist, Jacques Tissot. The subject of the paintings is the man’s mother.London 1870 - A marriage is arranged between Kathleen Kelly (Kate) and Isaac Newton, a surgeon in British army serving in India by her father, Major Charles Frederick Ashburnham Kelly. Kate, beautiful and feisty is devastated at her lack of say or choice but consoles herself she will be returning to India.On the outward journey, Captain Palliser becomes obsessed with her, remains with the party when they reach Agra where he tries to seduce her. After the marriage, though before consummation, Kate, on the recommendation of her confessor, tries to explain to Isaac about Palliser.Certain she is ‘sullied’, Isaac returns her, penniless, to England and institutes divorce proceedings. Palliser catches up with her in Bombay and puts up money for the voyage with proviso she becomes his mistress. Back in London, although pregnant, she refuses to marry him. Her father arranges for her to live with her married sister Polly and husband Gussie. Violet is born on the day the decree nisi is finalized and every time Kate looks at Violet she is reminded of Palliser.Kate leads a narrow Victorian existence until she and Polly holiday in Paris where she meets painter Jacques Tissot. They are mutually attracted but fearful of rejection she refuses to divulge her past. They attend Carmen- visit House of Worth- take a boat trip on Seine and at a reception for Charles Stewart Parnell, Kate speaks out on Irish landlordism. Her comments are reported in The Times, Gussie orders them back to London. Kate is again pregnant.When their son (Cecil) is a year old, accidentally she and Jacques meet. In view of his leanings during the Franco-Prussian war, Tissot had deemed it wise to settle in London where he enjoys commercial and social success.Explanations follow, their love is acknowledged and Kate and children move in with Jacques. He is enchanted by the conflict of her Irish Catholic background and divorced and unmarried mother status. She is his mistress and muse and he encourages her talent for painting.They live in domestic harmony and luxury in St Johns Wood, her relationship with Violet improves and he devotes himself to her happiness, painting dozens of portraits including Mavourneen, La Frileuse, A Type of Beauty and domestic and garden scenes. He encourages her to paint and her dedication to her art becomes ‘almost religious in its fervor’. For months she hides the extent of her illness of tuberculosis from Tissot. In November 1882, unable to watch his despair at knowing she is dying, she hastens her death by overdosing on laudenham.Epilogue London 1897 - Jacques Tissot returns to London for an exhibition of his series of drawings of incidents in the Life of Christ.