Illustrated menu

An illustrated menu sent to Beaumont House in Lancaster, to Helen Mary (‘May’) Gaskell, who Burne-Jones met in 1892 and with whom he maintained an intimate friendship until his death in 1898, declaring that May ‘reached the well of loneliness that is in me’.

While many of letters are intensely private and deeply emotional, Burne-Jones also composed more light-hearted, illustrated letters, filled with humour and entertaining caricatures. May and Burne-Jones agreed that they would destroy their correspondence but while Burne-Jones destroyed May’s letters, she secretly kept his and bequeathed them to her younger daughter, Daphne saying ‘you who knew him will understand that they are so precious and tender and wise and witty, but not for the eye of the scoffer, or…the casual reader’.


  • Title

    Illustrated menu

  • Artist/maker

    Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833 - 1898)
  • Associated place

    Europe (place of creation)
  • Date

    1893 - 1898
  • Material and technique

    pen and black ink on off-white headed writing paper

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    41.5 x 31 x 4 cm volume (height x width x depth)
    17.6 x 11.2 cm sheet (height x width)
  • No. of items


  • Credit line

    Purchased (Blakiston, Madan, Bouch, Virtue-Tebbs Funds) with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Friends of the National Libraries, the Friends of the Ashmolean, and numerous private donations, 2015.

  • Museum location

  • Museum department

    Western Art

  • Accession no.


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Further reading

Harrison Colin, Palmer Caroline, Wodehouse Katherine, Dickinson Harry, Great British Drawings (Oxford, 2015), 121

Reference URL

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