FAQs

Your Cart

Close
Paper Plane Your order qualifies for free standard delivery
Subtotal £0.00
Delivery £0.00
Order Total £0
Checkout Securely

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Jane Morris

27th May 2020

Jane Burden, wife of William Morris, is an interesting woman in her own right and we love to learn more about the Pre-Raphaelite women.

Did you know these things about Jane?

One

It was in a twist of fate that Jane was practically plucked from poverty. She became immortalised forever by some of the greatest Pre-Raphaelite artists and then has remained one of the most famous muses of all time. Jane was just 17 in 1857 when she attended a theatre in Oxford with her sister Bessie. She was spotted by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones who saw her beauty and wanted her to sit for their art. She had the idealised beauty for the time, but didn’t actually go to their first arranged meet up. It wasn’t until Burne-Jones bumped into her that she was convinced. She went on to sit for some of the most famous art of their time – including Rossetti’s Queen Guinevere. By the next spring, she was engaged to Morris. Both being their muse and her marriage would alter the course of her life forever.

Two

Though she married William Morris and they had two children together, Jenny and May, the love of her life was arguably Rossetti. It’s known they were attracted from the start to each other but Rossetti was already engaged to Lizzie Siddal. It’s known he told a friend before he died that he married Lizzie, “out of a mistaken sense of loyalty and fear of giving pain,” instead of true love.

Three

Her romantic life was complex and it unfortunately often overshadows her accomplishments. She was born poor, but after her engagement, she was educated to become a gentleman’s wife. We feel often people use it to take away from what she achieved – yes she had tutors, but it was her intelligence that took her on to be referred to as her contemporaries as “queenly.” She almost reinvented herself through her education. Becoming an intelligent reader, proficient in French and Italian, an accomplished pianist and had notoriously refined speech and manners.

Four

Jane actually is known to have been a skilled needlewoman and her embroideries are really beautiful. She passed this skill onto her daughters. You can see her work here on one of the last surviving pieces she definitively did, Honeysuckle. This was worked on by Jane and her daughter Jenny and based on Morris’s famous Honeysuckle design.

Five

Whilst it’s not proven, we quite like the idea of this one. We don’t know that much of her childhood but it’s known she was poor. This is based on the fact she was born in Oxford to Robert and Ann Burden, a stableman and a laundress respectively. Her mother was illiterate and probably arrived in Oxford as a domestic servant. It’s assumed Jane would have followed her Mother into the profession if she hadn’t have met William Morris. For this reason, it’s claimed that she’s been the inspiration for a few novels and films. Notably Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and the later film My Fair Lady. Again, this isn’t proven but it’s quite possible. The link between George Bernard Shaw and the Morris family is quite strong because he’s known to have had a love affair with May Morris, Jane’s daughter.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little blog about Jane Morris, did you know all 5 facts? Have any facts about her you like? There’s so much to learn about the entire family and wider, the Pre-Raphaelite movement that we could sit and read for hours. If you like this blog and would like to read more – we have lots of blogs to read!

Related Articles

Post Title

Our range of William Morris fabrics

Every so often, we love to take a look around our collection and see how many beautiful licensed William Morris designs we have within it....

Post Title

Sir Henry Cole

Henry Cole (1808-1882) was a remarkable man who began his career as a civil servant archivist.  Cole had a keen interest in improving the standards...

Post Title

Snowdrops

Snowdrops, usually the first sign that spring is on its way, are always such a welcome sight.  Amongst other things, snowdrops make me think of...

Our Black Friday sale is now live! 🥂 On our website only, use code, BLACKFRIDAY10 all weekend for 10% off your order ☺️ Ends Sunday at midnight 🌙
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #preraphaelite #willowbough #tablescape #placemats #floraldesign
Dreaming of the sunshine 💭 This is our smallest size of tote bag, in our licensed William Morris Strawberry Thief, on this bike ride we were pretty happy that it was filled to the brim with snacks to eat on the beach ☀️ On Wintery nights we love to look back on the sunshine! ☁️
•
•
•
#strawberrythief #williammorris #preraphaelite #morris #williammorrisdesign #totebag #summerdreaming #williammorrisfabric #coronado
We're so thrilled our new website is now live! 🌿Just in time for Christmas shopping, it's much easier to use, and still full of beautiful licensed William Morris designs on every page! We hope you like the change, especially where lots of you are featured on the new 'inspiration' page! 🌟 We absolutely love that it showcases everyones tablescapes and craft projects, just click on them to see the design and who posted the photo so you can see more of their content ☺️ If you're happy for us to use your photos, just send us a message, we'd love it to be a page we can keep adding to throughout the seasons 🪴
Special thank you to @adigi_agency for creating our website, we love it! 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #morris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #onlinefabrics #countrykitchendecor #christmasgiftsideas #newwebsitelaunch
A few of our licensed William Morris designs all hanging out, aren’t they iconic! It’s amazing that you can see a Morris print and instantly know it’s his design 🌿
•
•
•
#williammorris #morris #williammorrisdesign #teatowels #goldenlily #strawberrythief #willowbough #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #onlinefabricshop
Hands up if you’re a Golden Lily fan 🙋‍♀️ Our licensed William Morris design tea towels make excellent Christmas gifts if you’re writing your Christmas list!🎄 
•
•
•
#williammorris #goldenlily #teatowels #christmasgiftsideas #morris #williammorrisfabric #kitchenaccessories #preraphaelite #christmasgiftidea
Always brightening up the kitchen; Willow Bough 🌿 What a special design ✨
•
•
•
#williammorrisfabric #williammorris #teatowel #willowbough #williammorrisdesign #designs #preraphaelite #teatowelsofinstagram
“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life” - William Morris. Some days, for us, that means decorating our tables with napkin bows and settling down for a slice of cake! 🧁
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #morris #fabric #strawberrythief #preraphaelite #tablecloth #tablescape
Fabric stack of floral dreams 💭
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabric #onlinefabric #curtainfabric #upholsteryfabric #fabricstack
We'd say Morris more than succeeded, with timeless designs and words, it shows true beauty and art will never age 🌿 Morris wrote this quote in "The Well At The World's End: Volume I." Have you ever read much of his poetry or writing? ✍️
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #preraphaelite #fabrics #quotes #quotestoliveby #strawberrythief #williammorrisdesign #quotesdaily #quotestagram #morris #williammorrisfabricdesigns
A little fabric stack full of William Morris floral magic 🌿
Is anyone else a little excited that it's only 100 days until Christmas... or is it too soon to talk about? We're quite excited for Christmas crafts, food and films! ☺️ We wonder what your favourite Morris design is? Does it change based on season? 🎄 (it's far too early for this emoji but we're excited and can't help it, sorry.)
-
-
-
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesign #design #strawberrythief #preraphaelite #cottonfabric #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #fabrics
Important conversation of the day at Laura's Beau HQ: who fancies a crumble and which is your favourite flavour? 🍎 Apple seems popular, so does rhubarb ☀️ One thing we can agree on is that we're all going to be baking them tonight - best get our fave oven gloves out! 👩‍🍳 These are our licensed William Morris Eyebright double oven gloves, isn't it such a beautiful pattern 🤍
-
-
-
#williammorris #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabric #morris #ovengloves #ovenglove #eyebright #inspiredbynature #inspiredbynature_ #florals #myfloralhome #floralhome #preraphaelite #mykitchenstyle
We were cutting our Strawberry Thief fabric today and the sunlight hit it perfectly, we couldn’t resist a picture 🌿 All our licensed William Morris designs are printed in the United Kingdom, and we sell it by the half metre 🪡 If you’re in the UK and would like a sample, just send us a message! 💌 
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesign #design #strawberrythief #preraphaelite #cottonfabric #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #fabrics
A close up of our beautiful licensed William Morris Trellis 😍 Isn't it such a timeless design, it was first designed in 1864, inspired by the rose trellis in Morris's garden at beautiful Red House 🌿 It was the first wallpaper Morris designed, along with Daisy and Fruit. 
Because the three designs were produced using a hand printing process, each colour needed a separate block and for the three designs it was 12 blocks each so was a long and expensive process. Therefore, they were all put on hold until the early 1870s when Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & co. had enough money to finance the designs 🎨We love the Trellis design, currently our tea towel is hanging over the cooker - we always wonder if Morris could ever have foreseen that his design in 1864 would be so well loved all these years later? 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorriswallpaper #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisdesigns #trellis #redhouse #philipwebb #teatowelsofinstagram #teatowel #preraphaelite #preraphaelites #independantbusiness #timelessdesign
William Morris designs are inspired by nature, so we love to see them in nature! 🌿 This beautiful Pimpernel Cream design was first designed by Morris in 1876 and is in our medium tote, we have lots of sizes for every occasion! 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #myfloralstyle  #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #springflowers #fabricshop #brotherrabbit #preraphaelite #totebag
What’s your favourite thing to make out of our licensed William Morris fabric? 🌿it’s always incredible to see what you create 🧵🪡
•
•
•
#williammorris #fabric #fabricdesign #kitchendecor #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabric #morris #kitchenaccessories #strawberrythief #inspiredbynature #inspiredbynature_ #florals #myfloralhome #floralhome #kitchenaccessory #preraphaelite #mykitchenmyhappyplace #mykitchenstyle #floralmagic
Did you know we have matching  kitchen accessories in a range of licensed Morris designs? 🌿 Perfect for pressies or treating yourself to bring a little Morris floral magic into your kitchen 🤍✨
•
•
•
#williammorris #kitchendesign #kitchendecor #kitchensofinstagram #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabric #morris #kitchenaccessories #ovengloves #ovenglove #strawberrythief #inspiredbynature #inspiredbynature_ #florals #myfloralhome #floralhome #kitchenaccessory #preraphaelite #mykitchenmyhappyplace #mykitchenstyle #floralmagic