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Finding Aid for the Edward Burne-Jones Letters to Violet Maxse 1892-1897
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • 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


    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.


    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 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.


    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