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Edward Burne-Jones letter to Cormell Price, 1853 October 29

 Item — Box: 1, Folder: 5
Call Number: MSS 45

Scope and Contents

Burne-Jones expresses his delight upon receiving Price's last letter. He regrets that he cannot respond to Price's latest request on account of being very busy. He also remarks that the subject proposed by Price is "really beyond me." It seems that Price's request is related to a specific poet (perhaps Tennyson, who is discussed at length in the previous letter), for Burne-Jones writes that: "I have not found a day without reading or hearing his work - it is unfair I know to other poets, for he is not a compendium of all that is beautiful, but I take a pleasure in forgetting others, and concentrating myself, for a while, on him alone."

He congratulates Price upon his ideas, saying that they are "very laudable and worthy of all success." Burne-Jones says he has been reading Edgar Allan Poe's "book of horrors," remarking that although the appeal of his work is shortlived, for the moment, Poe is "lord of the ascendant." He reccommends a number of Poe's stories to Price.

Burne-Jones asks if Price has read Archdeacon Robert Wilberforce's "Holy Eucharist", describing the book as "the most controversial & truly theological work that has come out for ages."

Burne-Jones theorizes on public opinion, claiming that "the multitude is moved by passion & feeling and not reason, therefore you must impel them by Rhetoric before you can convince them by logic" and advises Price that "it can't do [Price] any harm to take every possible occasion to perfect [himself] in the noble art of Dialectic." Burne-Jones states that all men argue logically by nature and that the study of Logic is simply "the science of the processes of thought." He tells Price that in the present moment they must "think highly of [their] species, to dream of development, and the Divinity of mind" and states that man "born in free will" is "more independent than angels, for they cannot see by reason, knowing all things by intuition."


  • 1853 October 29


Physical Description

2 folded sheets (8 pages) : autograph letter signed ; each sheet 23 x 37 cm, folded to 23 x 19 cm

Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

The materials are open for research.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Addressed from "Greater Coll." Addressed to Price (on outer leaf) at Classical Department, King Edward's School, Birmingham. With one penny stamp and wax seal.

Part of the Yale Center for British Art, Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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