I suppose it all started with my re-reading of Possession last fall, though I didn’t know it at the time. My cover of Possession features a painting by Edward Burne-Jones called ‘The Beguiling of Merlin’. I didn’t know it was by Burne-Jones as I was reading the novel, but the painting sank into my consciousness through the month I was immersed in the book.
Later, in December, I started to form an interest in William Morris, who was a great friend of Burne-Jones’s, a fellow artist and collaborator. Burne-Jones designed the stained glass their company produced and Morris contributed the borders.
Then, I developed an interest in Angela Thirkell through reading the enthusiastic reviews of her books by Katrina and Claire. I came across an autobiography written by her called Three Houses that I instantly purchased because it mentioned William Morris and her mother’s cousin Rudyard Kipling. This charming book details her memories of the three houses that were such a big part of her childhood. It turns out that Thirkell was the granddaughter of Burne-Jones and two of his homes, North End House and The Grange, played a significant part in her life while she was growing up.
After I finished reading Three Houses, I started reading The Glass Painter’s Daughter by Rachel Hore (recommended by Florence) and, lo and behold! Edward Burne-Jones is also mentioned in this book. The main character runs a stained-glass business and discovers that her company contracted with Burne-Jones for a church window design in the 1880’s.
Next, I was looking at a copy of the Wall Street Journal that we were recycling at work and came across a review for a new book about Burne-Jones’s life. The Last Pre-Raphaelite by Fiona MacCarthy has just been published and I am tempted to order a copy as I feel Burne-Jones has come into my sphere for a reason.
And finally, I was reminded of a scene in one of my favorite films, An Education, where the main characters attend an art auction and the painting they bid on is by ….. you guessed it, Edward Burne-Jones!
I love when these connections happen. Does this happen to you? Do you feel that fate is pointing you in a particular direction when certain people or things start popping up wherever you go? Or do you think that these connections are just the inevitable coincidences that curious people encounter in their lives?
What have you been led to discover lately?