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Georgiana Burne-Jones (1840–1920)

Author of Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones

Includes the names: Lady Georgiana Burne-Jones
Also includes: G B-J. (2)

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Short biography
Georgiana (always called "Georgie") Macdonald was born into a large family of a strict Methodist minister and his second wife. The family moved frequently because of her father's postings and Georgiana was educated at home. Through her elder brother Harry, who attended King Edward's School, Georgiana and her sisters were introduced to a group of his fellow students called the Birmingham Set or the Pembroke Set later at Oxford University. Among them was the young Edward Burne-Jones, then plain Edward Jones. In 1856, at age 15, she became engaged to him. In April 1860, artist Ford Madox Brown and his wife Emma invited Georgiana to an extended stay at their London home so that she could spend time with Edward, and the couple were married in June. Their first two children died very young. Georgiana studied art at the Government School of Design (now part of the Victoria and Albert Museum) and took lessons from Ford Madox Brown. Georgiana was the model for several famous paintings by the Pre-Raphaelites, including "King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid." She was employed painting tiles for Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., the firm co-founded by her husband, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, and William Morris; but after the birth of her son Philip, she gave up art to become a full-time mother. There are few remaining examples of her artwork. In the mid-1880s, Jones started hyphenating his name and thus became Sir Edward Burne-Jones in 1894 when given a baronetcy. Georgiana became Lady Burne-Jones. Her husband died in 1898, and Georgiana took on the task of writing his biography as he had requested. Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones was published in 1904, in two volumes, and remains a standard reference work. In 1905, Georgiana arranged the publication of The Flower Book, a limited-edition facsimile of an album of her husband's watercolor flower paintings. In her later life, Georgiana became a pacifist and opposed Britain's involvement in the Boer War. Georgiana's circle of friends included Lizzie Siddal, George Eliot and Rosalind Howard, Countess of Carlisle. Her sister Alice married Edward Poynter, a painter who eventually became Director of the National Gallery and President of the Royal Academy. Her sister Louisa was the mother of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and another sister, Alice, was the mother of Rudyard Kipling.
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