Advent Calendar Day 24

WA2015.68.31 Illustrated Menu, Edward Burne Jones

Illustrated Menu by Edward Burne-Jones

This illustrated menu was drawn at Beaumont Hall in Lancaster, and sent to Helen Mary (‘May’) Gaskell, who Burne-Jones met in 1892 and with whom he maintained an intimate friendship until his death in 1898, declaring that May ‘reached the well of loneliness that is in me’.

While many of letters are intensely private and deeply emotional, Burne-Jones also composed more light-hearted, illustrated letters, filled with humour and entertaining caricatures. May and Burne-Jones agreed that they would destroy their correspondence but while Burne-Jones destroyed May’s letters, she secretly kept his and bequeathed them to her younger daughter, Daphne saying ‘you who knew him will understand that they are so precious and tender and wise and witty, but not for the eye of the scoffer, or…the casual reader’.

Ilustrated Menu, c.1893–1898
Edward Burne Jones (1833–1898)

Pen and ink on off-white headed writing paper
17.6 x 11.2 cm

Not currently on display


WA2015.68.31 Illustrated Menu, Edward Burne Jones