Finding Aid for the Edward Burne-Jones Letters to Violet Maxse 1892-1897

Processed by Rebecca Fenning.
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
University of California, Los Angeles
2520 Cimarron Street
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Phone: (323) 731-8529
Fax: (323) 731-8617
Email: rfenning@humnet.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.humnet.ucla.edu/humnet/clarklib/
©2010
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Edward Burne-Jones Letters to Violet Maxse,
Date (inclusive): 1892-1897
Collection number: MS.2010.010
Creator: Burne-Jones, Edward Coley, 1833-1898
Extent: 2 boxed volumes (4 linear inches)
Repository: 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

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Edward Burne-Jones Letters to Violet Maxse, MS.2010.010, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Acquisition Information

Clark Library purchase, 2010.

Processing History

Processed by Rebecca Fenning, June 2010.

Biography

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.

Arrangement

Items are described below in roughly chronological order.
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.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Burne-Jones, Georgiana, Lady, 1840-1920
Burne-Jones, Philip, 1861-1926
Maxse, Olive, 1866-1955
Milner, Violet Georgina Milner, Viscountess, 1872-1958

Genres and Forms

Drawings (visual works)--England--19th century
Letters--England--19th century


Container List

Box 1, Pages 1-18

Clippings and published images of suffragists and "advanced women," [ca. 1892-1895]

Scope and Content Note

Newspaper and periodical illustrations and photographs of suffragists and what VM and EBJ called "advanced women." Multiple pages also have portions of EBJ's stationary pasted down next to clippings.
Box 1, Item L-1, pp. 19-20

Letter from Georgiana Burne-Jones with newspaper clipping enclosure, [1892]

Scope and Content Note

Holograph note by VM above letter: "This letter came with the cutting on opposite page." Clipping caption: "One Woman One Vote: Sketches at the Women's Suffrage Meeting at St. James's Hall."
Box 2, Item S-37, L-42, p. 45

Letter with self-portrait, [March 1893]

Scope and Content Note

Dated March 1893 in My Picture Gallery, pp. 36-37. Written on VM's departure for Paris and offering his serious opinion on her artwork, should she ever request it. Signed with a sad-looking self-portrait of himself with a palette and paints; this drawing is printed on p. 37 of My Picture Gallery.
Box 2, Item S-38-39, L-43, p. 45

Letter in pencil with two self portraits, [April 1893]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Written while ill with influenza and both self portraits are of him sick in bed. Described on p. 36 of My Picture Gallery.
Box 2, Item S-40-42, L-44-45, p. 47

Letter with drawings, [1893]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Written to her during her time in Paris. Discusses his low spirits, going to a play with "Mrs. Gaskell and Amy" and "Love in the Ruins."
Box 1, Item L-9, S-2, pp. 29-30

Letter from EBJ with original envelope, 29 September 1893

Scope and Content Note

Written from bed when EBJ was ill. Talks about the Kelmscott Press Chaucer and about his destroyed watercolor "Love in the ruins." Printed in My Picture Gallery, p. 43.
Box 1, Item L-6, p. 26

Letter from EBJ, [October 1893]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 2, Item S-48, L-51, p. 57

Letter with drawing of Olive, [ca. Fall 1893]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM (or another party) as 1895 in album, but dated as 1893 in My Picture Gallery, p. 46. Drawing of Olive riding a rocking horse, and note about meeting her in Battersea Park. The drawing of Olive is printed on p. 45 of My Picture Gallery.
Box 1, Item L-7, p. 27

Letter from EBJ, [1893]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Mentions social plans with Henry James.
Box 1, Item L-8, p. 28

Letter from EBJ, [1893]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-2, pp. 21-22

Letter from EBJ with newspaper clipping enclosures, [1894]

Scope and Content Note

Dated 1894 by VM. Written from "Rottingdean, nr. Brighton" with 6 newspaper portraits of "advanced women."
Box 1, Item L-14, p. 34

Letter from EBJ, [ca. January 1894]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Mentions "Love in the ruins" and the story of the lady who married "Art." Printed in My Picture Gallery, p. 47, where she dates it to her time in Paris.
Box 1, Item L-12, p. 33

Letter from EBJ, [January 1894]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Mentions the Kelmscott Chaucer and "Love in the ruins."
Box 1, Item L-13, p. 34

Letter from Georgiana Burne-Jones, 22 January 1894

Scope and Content Note

Mentions work taking place in EBJ's studio and quotes from some of William Morris' Icelandic proverbs.
Box 1, Item L-11, p. 32

Letter from EBJ, [February 1894]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-16, p. 35

Letter from EBJ, [February 1894]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-10, S-3, p. 31

Letter from EBJ, [1894]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM as 1893, but more likely from 1894, as she did not become engaged until March of that year. Discusses her marriage, contrasts his appearance with his son Phil's appearance (illustrated with some small sketches) and says "you shall have a drawing one day less silly."
Box 2, Item S-15, p. 19

Pencil drawing of EBJ hanging from a beam, [ca. April 1894]

Scope and Content Note

Caption by VM: I had missed an appt. This came by the next post." Caption by EBJ: "Farewell - may you be happy!"
Box 2, Item S-16, p. 21

Pencil drawing of EBJ's grave on "unconsecrated ground," April 1894

Scope and Content Note

On Rottingdean stationary with a fake funeral border painted in ink. With the heading by EBJ: "Unconsecrated ground, April 1894." Captioned by VM: "and this in the following post."
Box 1, Item L-5, S-1, p. 25

Letter from EBJ with drawings, June 1894

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Letter concerning her impending marriage, containing little sketches throughout.
Box 1, Item L-3, p. 23

Letter from EBJ 17 June 1894

Scope and Content Note

Letter begins, "Isn't tomorrow your pretty wedding day?"
Box 2, Item S-12-14, L-36, p. 17

Letter from EBJ with drawings and enclosure, [1894]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Letter concerning a social visit. With a self-portrait of EBJ in an armchair and an imitation of a child's drawing, with the caption "Draw me pictures in your letter. I love pictures from this [image] upwards to Michael Angelo." A loose enclosure of a crest with the letter "C" on it and the note, "bless her."
Box 2, Item S-43, L-46, p. 49

Letter with drawing, [1894]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Drawing of men snoozing and reading papers at a club. Discusses destroyed "Love in the ruins" watercolor.
Box 2, Item S-44-45, L-47 p. 51

Letter with self portrait and drawing, [1894]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Drawing of Phil as an imp in the country and self-portrait of EBJ looking sorrowful in a corner.
Box 2, Item S-11, p. 15

Ink drawing of the Last Supper tattooed on the back of Emma Frank, The American Tattooed Lady, [1894]

Box 1, Item L-25, p. 40

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Includes, "I was going to write to you - to send you a sympathetic howl about the loss of a friend whom I know you will miss..." This probably refers to the death of VM's great friend Lord Pembroke in Spring 1895.
Box 1, Item L-4, p. 24

Note from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Note reads: "Another examination question - you ask people 'who is this?' & then you unfold the paper & they are surprised." The "paper" in question covers the name of Miss Emily Faithful, whose newspaper portrait looks not unlike Oscar Wilde.
Box 1, Item L-15, p. 35

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-17, p. 36

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-18, p. 36

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-19, p. 37

Note from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Reads: "Please Friday aft. for your exped'n to see Morris & the printing press."
Box 1, Item L-20, p. 37

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-21, p. 38

Letter from EBJ, [1895?]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-22, p. 38

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-23, p. 39

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Making plans for lunch.
Box 1, Item L-24, p. 39

Letter from EBJ, [1895?]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-26, p., 40

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. About VM coming to visit.
Box 1, Item L-29, p. 42

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Mentions VM's sister Olive.
Box 1, Item L-30, p. 42

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Apologizes for lateness in responding to letters.
Box 2, Item S-35, p. 43

Ink drawing of a man sleeping at his club, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. With a caption by VM: "In a man's club."
Box 2, Item S-46, L-48, p. 53

Letter with horse drawings, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. About William Morris's illness.
Box 2, Item L-49, p. 55

Letter from EBJ, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Possibly incomplete and related to L-50. Contains many translation jokes to be shared with VM's husband, Lord Edward Cecil.
Box 2, Item S-47, L-50, p. 55

Letter with self-portrait, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Possibly incomplete and related to L-49.
Box 2, Item S-49, L-52, p. 57

Letter with self-portrait, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Discusses a letter from Olive. Self-portrait of EBJ with a palette and brush.
Box 2, Item S-50, L-53, p. 59

Letter with drawing, [1895]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Discusses social plans. Drawing of a smiling baby instead of a signature.
Box 2, Item S-32-34, L-41, p. 39

Letter with 3 drawings, undated [bef. October 1896]

Scope and Content Note

Letter regarding plans to go to Kelmscott house. Includes a self-portrait of EBJ looking forlorn, a fat lady, and a caricature of his face with a long beard in place of a signature.
Box 1, Item L-27, p. 41

Letter from EBJ, [ca. October 1896]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. On the death of William Morris in October 1896.
Box 1, Item L-28, p. 41

Letter from EBJ, [1896]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Discusses how he has "been in the dumps" because of friend's illnesses and deaths, as well as his own anxieties.
Box 1, Item L-31, p. 43

Letter from EBJ, [1896]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM.
Box 1, Item L-32, p. 44

Letter from EBJ, [1896?]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Making plans for a visit.
Box 1, Item L-33, p. 44

Letter from EBJ, [1896]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Mentions seeing VM's mother and sister, and puts off a visit with VM until she is "stronger."
Box 1, Item L-34, p. 45

Letter from EBJ, [1896]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. About VM canceling a planned visit.
Box 1, Item L-35, p. 46

Letter from EBJ, [1897]

Scope and Content Note

Dated by VM. Postponing a date, and apologizing for talking about Cecil Rhodes.
Box 2, Item S-4, p. 1

Drawing of lobsters and a crab, undated

Box 2, Item S-5

Octopus sketches, undated

Box 2, Item S-6, p. 5

Fat lady drawing in pencil, undated

Box 2, Item S-7, p. 7

Phil as an imp, undated

Box 2, Item S-8, p. 9

Phil as an imp, reclined, undated

Box 2, Item S-9, p. 11

Phil as an imp, putting on trousers, undated

Box 2, Item S-10, p. 13

Sketch of a hairy knee, undated

Box 2, Item S-17, p. 21

Pencil sketch of a fat lady, undated

Scope and Content Note

Possibly an enclosure sent with L-37.
Box 2, Item S-18-19, L-37 p. 23

Letter from EBJ with ink drawings, undated

Scope and Content Note

About a missed visit. Includes a self-portrait of EBJ looking forlorn, and a fat lady.
Box 2, Item S-20, S-21, p. 25

Pencil sketches of "what he ordered at the tailor" and "the result," undated

Scope and Content Note

Captions by VM.
Box 2, Item S-22-27, pp. 27-30

Ink drawings of fat ladies, undated

Box 2, Item S-28, p. 31

Ink drawing of a fat lady with a note about social plans, undated

Box 2, Item L-38, p. 32

Note from EBJ, undated

Scope and Content Note

"I liked the lady so much that I could not fold her up into the envelope." Not clear which "lady" this refers to. Possibly S-29.
Box 2, Item S-29, L-39, p. 39

Ink drawing of a fat lady, undated

Scope and Content Note

With the caption "I rather like this lady - don't you? I am quite sorry to fold her up into the envelope."
Box 2, Item S-30, L-40, p. 35

Ink drawing of two fat ladies, with note, undated

Scope and Content Note

Note regarding the weather and social plans, as well as the two ladies in the drawing.
Box 2, Item S-31, p. 37

Ink drawing of Phil as an imp, undated

Scope and Content Note

With caption "a little softened is Phil at present."
Box 2, Item S-35, p. 47

Drawing of the "Dirrell Baby" possibly by Olive Maxse, undated