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Edward Burne-Jones letter to Cormell Price, 1854 March 9

 Item — Box: 1, Folder: 8
Call Number: MSS 45

Scope and Contents

Burne-Jones apologizes for being "forgetful" of Price and admits that he "cannot plead hard work altogether for my cause, so many nameless trifles occur all day long to break the best resolutions." He tells Price that he has heard that he is studying hard and wishes him success in his endeavors. He encourages Price to apply for an Oxford scholarship, noting that even in failure "the practice is very good and often encouraging." He says that this term has been his happiest yet and he has been filling his time with many good things. He admits that he has "fallen back upon my drawings and intend[s] cultivating it to some extent."

Burne-Jones states that William Morris has taken up a lot of his time, describing him as "one of the cleverest fellows" he knows and "far more congenial in all his thoughts and likings, than anyone it has been [his] good fortune to meet with." He believes that Morris's art criticism is better than William Fulford's, who was Burne-Jones's "old ideal in such subjects." He proclaims that Morris is "full of enthusiasm for things holy and beautiful and true" and possesses "the most exquisite perception and judgement" which has "tinged [Burne-Jones's] whole inner being with the beauty of [Morris's] own." He remarks that "if it were not for his boisterous mad outbursts and freaks which break the romance [Morris] sheds [?] around him -- at least to me -- he would be a perfect hero."

Burne-Jones asks Price to spend time with him at Easter. He says of Price's writing piece (presumably sent in correspondence from Price) that, unless it is for a joke, it is unlikely to be profitable. He asks him why he has written blank verse, remarking that the style "is a strange fashion of young poetlings of this generation; on the principle I suppose of the age generally 'as much as you can at the cheapest rate'." He also questions Price's "horticultural facts" and critiques his long preamble to the piece. He recommends that Price translates metrically from Greek lyrics, beginning with either Theocritus or the "chorus of the Dramatists."


  • 1854 March 9


Physical Description

1 folded sheet (4 pages) : autograph letter signed ; 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


Date from postmark. The letter is dated by Burne-Jones: "March (?) 1854." Addressed from "Exeter Coll." Addressed to Price (on outer leaf) at "Classical Department, King Edward's School, Birmingham." With one penny stamp and wax seal. With cross writing on pages 2 -3.


References: Georgiana Burne-Jones, v. 1, p. 95

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