Lost, stolen, or Strayed

The first on each side of the English Channel to see this picture of 1852 were astounded by the artist’s representation of light. William Holman Hunt, by the juxtaposition of colours, intensifies the clarity of every surface. The location for the picture was the Lovers’ Seat, a well known beauty spot on the cliffs overlooking Covehurst Bay, near Hastings.

The Tate note tells us: “Hunt exhibited the picture at the Royal Academy in 1853 with the title Our English Coasts. The critic F G Stephens, a former member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, later suggested that the painting “might be taken as a satire on the reported defenceless state of the country against foreign invasion”. During this period fears of an invasion had been generated by the press, reacting to Napoleon III’s autocratic regime in France. The original frame bore the inscription “The Lost Sheep”, and when Hunt sent the painting to the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1855 he changed the title to Strayed Sheep, thus underlining the picture’s religious symbolism.”.

Cheryl Nyland’s parents divorced when she was six; her mother remarried. At school, Cheryl was a track and cross country runner, a cheerleader, and a homecoming queen. She went on to University, married in August 1988, a month before her twentieth birthday, graduated, and was in her senior year when her mother died suddenly in March 1991.

When, after seven years of marriage, Cheryl filed in 1995 for divorce from her first husband, she took the opportunity to change her surname legally to Strayed, symbolic of her veering off path. Shortly after the divorce, she embarked on a solo, three month, 1,100 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. It resulted in her 2012 memoir Wild. Five months before it was published, Reese Witherspoon was given an advance copy. Eager to produce and star in the film adaptation (now on Netflix), Witherspoon applied three days later to option the book.

Darian Leader writes:

“Mourning, for (Melanie) Klein, means that the straits of the depressive position will have to be run through with each significant loss we experience…As the writer Cheryl Strayed observed after her mother’s death, she had expected that “the single act of her death would constitute the only loss…No one told me that in the wake of that grief other griefs would ensue.” “.

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