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Lead book review

Was Jane Morris a sphinx without a secret?

Jane Morris, the Pre-Raphaelites’ favourite model, remains as enigmatic as ever, says Frances Wilson

18 June 2022

9:00 AM

18 June 2022

9:00 AM

How We Might Live: At Home with Jane and William Morris Suzanne Fagence Cooper

Quercus, pp.320, 30

William Morris was the son of a stock-broker and Jane Burden was the daughter of a stablehand. He was raised in a mansion in Walthamstow (now the William Morris Gallery) and she grew up in a hovel in Oxford. Had she not been talent-spotted by Dante Gabriel Rossetti when she was leaving the theatre one night, Jane would have become a college servant rather than an artist’s muse.

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