Burne-Jones Correspondence

Scope and Content

Sixty-six letters to Fairfax Murray from various correspondents:

  • Numbers 1-36: from Georgiana Burne-Jones relating, amongst other matters, to the leasing of The Grange, West Kensington, to her biography of her husband Sir Edward Burne-Jones, to various of his works, and to proposed bequests, December 1872-September 1915;
  • Numbers 38-41: from Georgiana's daughter Margaret Mackail, October 1887-July 1899;
  • Numbers 42-43: from John William Mackail (1859-1945), Margaret's husband, 1909, 1911;
  • Numbers 44-46: from Philip Burne-Jones, June 1898-May 1903;
  • Numbers 47-62: from Paul Leprieur of the Musée du Luxembourg, June 1892-March 1909;
  • Numbers 63-67: from Monsieur Bossy, concerning their interest in Burne-Jones, n.d.
Number 37 is a brief note from John concerning respecting Georgiana and Ned, 1868. Number 68 is an undated letter from Simeon Solomon to Edward Burne-Jones. Also included here for convenience are group photographs of Philip and Margaret Burne-Jones and Jenny and May Morris as children.

Administrative / Biographical History

Georgiana Burne-Jones, née Georgiana Macdonald, Lady Burne-Jones (1840-1920), wife and biographer of Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, first baronet, was born in Birmingham on 21 July 1840. She married Burne-Jones in 1860 and had their first child in 1861. After the birth of a daughter in 1866 and her husband's very public affair with Maria Zambaco, Georgie embarked on a life less dependent on him. She had a series of influential friendships - with William Morris, Rosalind Howard and with George Eliot. She adopted Morris's politics, and bought a house a Rottingdean, near Brighton. From 1894 to 1901 she was the only woman member of the Rottingdean council.

Edward Burne-Jones died suddenly in 1898. He had asked Georgie to write his biography and she took great pride in doing so, producing a book that is still much admired. She died at Kensington, London on 2 February 1920.

Source: Elizabeth J. Morse, 'Macdonald sisters (act. 1837-1925)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press - http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/58271.