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Jane Burden Morris
Birth: Oct. 19, 1839
Oxford
Oxfordshire, England
Death: Jan. 26, 1915
Bath
Somerset, England

Artist's Model. A favorite subject of several painters of the Pre-Raphaelite school in England, primarily Dante Gabriel Rossetti, she is remembered for her sometimes scandalous life story as much as for the numerous images of her that were created. The child of a stable hand and an illiterate mother, little is known of her early life save that it was one of poverty and deprivation. In October 1857, while attending a theatrical performance, she attracted the attention of painters Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, and William Morris who were working on a series of murals based on the King Arthur legend for the Oxford Union, and, though brunette models were unusual at the time, all wished her to pose for them, with Morris prophetically depicting her as the unfaithful Queen Guinevere. Jane developed a personal relationship with Morris and the two became engaged; after her betrothal, Jane reinvented herself, becoming a tireless reader, fluent in French and Italian, a skilled embroiderer, and an accomplished pianist. Indeed, she was to be an inspiration for Vernon Lee's 1884 novel "Miss Brown", and thus the model for Eliza Doolittle in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" as well as in the musical "My Fair Lady". Jane married Morris on April 26, 1859 and though there were numerous reports of infidelity over the years, the union lasted until Morris' 1896 death. Jane continued her professional and personal relationship with Rossetti, which had begun even before his wife Lizzie Siddell died of a drug overdose in 1862 and which was maintained despite Jane's reservations about the painter's own narcotic addiction, serving as the subject of most of his later work. In 1884 she met poet and British political activist Wilfrid Scawen Blunt who supported Irish independence; she was to be both romantically and politically attached to him for the rest of her life and due to his influence became an ardent supporter of Irish home rule. In 1904 she was painted by Evelyn de Morgan, one of the few female Pre-Raphaelites. Jane nursed Morris thru his terminal illness and thereafter lived out her days quietly. Today her image can be seen in numerous galleries and private collections and in 2013 she was the subject of a major exhibit at London's National Portrait Gallery. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  William Morris (1834 - 1896)
 
 Children:
  May Morris (1862 - 1938)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
St George Churchyard
Kelmscott
West Oxfordshire District
Oxfordshire, England
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Dec 30, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 32512751
Jane <i>Burden</i> Morris
Added by: Anthony S
 
Jane <i>Burden</i> Morris
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Jane <i>Burden</i> Morris
Added by: Kieran Smith
 
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- Anonymous
 Added: Jan. 26, 2014

- Bob Hufford
 Added: Jan. 26, 2014

- R I P
 Added: Oct. 3, 2013
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