Scope and Content
Title: Edward Burne-Jones Letters to Violet
Date (inclusive): 1892-1897
Collection number: MS.2010.010
Edward Coley, 1833-1898
2 boxed volumes
(4 linear inches)
University of California, Los Angeles.
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
Abstract: Letters and drawings sent to Violet Maxse
(later Viscountess Milner) by Edward Burne-Jones.
Physical location: Clark Library
Language of Material: Collection materials in English
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial
Library, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from
manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Clark Librarian.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews
Clark Memorial Library, UCLA as the owner of the physical items and is
not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder,
which must also be obtained.
[Identification of item], Edward Burne-Jones Letters to Violet Maxse,
MS.2010.010, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of
California, Los Angeles.
Clark Library purchase, 2010.
Processed by Rebecca Fenning, June 2010.
Edward Coley Burne Jones was born in 1833 in Birmingham. He studied
theology at Exeter College, Oxford, where he became friends with William
Morris, and, like Morris, decided pursue a career in art instead of one in the Church.
Burne-Jones became one of the leading figures in the contemporary
British art world, closely allied with the pre-Raphaelites and with the
Aesthetic movement. A founding member (along with Morris) of the firm
Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Company, Burne-Jones was a significant force in the rebirth of stained glass design in England
and designed a number
of notable windows, though he was most known for his paintings.
Burne-Jones married Georgiana MacDonald in 1860, with whom he had 2
children, Philip and Margaret. He died in 1898.
One of Burne-Jones' many friends was Cecilia Steele Maxse, the
estranged wife of Admiral Frederick Augustus Maxse and the mother of
Violet (later Viscountess Milner) and Olive, who, in their own rights, became close friends of
Burne-Jones'. Violet, born in 1872, was the youngest
Maxse child. She had a great interest in art, and studied in Paris from March 1893-January 1894. In June 1894, she married
Lord Edward Cecil, a soldier and
foreign service officer with whom she traveled widely. Their marriage
was not a particularly happy one, and after Cecil's death in 1918,
Violet married Sir Alfred Milner, who died in 1925. After
her brother Leo's death in 1929, she took over editorship of the
National Review, owned by their family since 1893. She had 2 children
with Lord Cecil, George and Helen. She died in 1958.
Scope and Content
This collection comprises two bound albums containing letters and
drawings sent to Violet Maxse by Edward Burne-Jones from approximately
1892-1897. The casual and often comic tone of letters cover a range of
topics, including social events, Violet's first marriage to Lord Edward
Cecil, the death of William Morris and Burne-Jones' artistic work.
Several of the letters described in this finding aid are excerpted or quoted in Viscountess Milner's memoir
My Picture Gallery (London: John Murray, 1951) and the page number on which they letters appear are cited below, as appropriate.
The first album is bound in original forest green cloth over bevelled
boards, with the front cover embossed and decoratively panelled in
silver, black and gray. It contains 24 leaves of heavy stock (plus
endpapers) mounted on guards. The second album is bound in half black
morocco over black morocco grained cloth. The front cover is stamped in
gilt with the facsimile signature "Violet" and "Violet Maxse, October
1893" is inscribed in ink on the verso of the front free endpaper. It
contains 30 leaves of heavy stock (plus endpapers) which are all mounted
on guards. Both albums are housed in modern felt-lined clamshell cases
covered in William Morris designed fabric by James Brockman.
Items are described below in roughly chronological
The majority of letters and drawings in the albums are not dated, or else
carry pencilled dates written by Violet Maxse (or another party). Items do not appear to be organized in the albums in any
kind of particular order. A
previous owner or book-dealer has pencilled identification numbers under
each item, which we use here. Letters are identified with numbers
beginning with "L" and drawings are identified with numbers beginning
with "S." Some items have multiple numbers as they contain multiple
drawings, sometimes in addition to written content.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Burne-Jones, Georgiana, Lady, 1840-1920
Burne-Jones, Philip, 1861-1926
Violet Georgina Milner, Viscountess, 1872-1958
Genres and Forms