Partner Mathilde Blind
37 Fitzroy Square, Fitzrovia, London W1T 6DX, UK
St Pancras Cemetery, 278 High Rd, London N2 9AG, UK
Emma Hill (1829 – October 11, 1890) was born in Newent, Gloucestershire, England. She was the daughter of a bricklayer. She moved to London with her family by the 1840s and lived with her widowed mother in St Pancras.
She began modelling for Ford Madox Brown in 1848. She attended school at Brown's behest in order to acquire middle-class manners. She gave birth to Brown's daughter Catherine in 1850. She settled in Stockwell, London, with Brown in 1851. She married Brown on 5 April 1853 and later lied about the date of the marriage to conceal the illegitimacy of their daughter, claiming that they had eloped to Margate in September 1849. Other two sons were also born, Oliver, in 1855 (died 1874) and Arthur in 1856 (died 1857). She lived with Brown in their house in Fitzroy Square, London, which became a centre of artistic and intellectual activity, from the early 1870s. She died on October 1890.
Mathilde Blind never married during her lifetime and often publicly criticized the institution of marriage. It is common belief that Mathilde was a lesbian due to her prioritization of women in her life and her association with many lesbian figures of her day such as Olive Schreiner and Violet Paget. She lived with the famous painter Ford Madox Brown for over 20 years until his wife Emma Hill’s death and it is often believed that Mathilde and Emma were romantically involved.
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