Vernon Lushington: Pre-Raphaelite, Friend of William Morris, and Father of ‘Mrs. Dalloway,’

Presented by David Taylor

Thursday, 12 March 2009 . 6 p.m., reception to follow

The Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York

Although he was a friend and colleague to many famous artists, authors, and activists, the lawyer and positivist Vernon Lushington (1832–1912) remains virtually unknown today. In “Vernon Lushington: Pre-Raphaelite, Friend of William Morris, and Father of ‘Mrs. Dalloway,’” historian David Taylor will draw upon previously unavailable materials from the Lushington archive to shed light on the interesting and influential figure who arranged the first meeting between Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti and who visited with William and Jane Morris at Kelmscott Manor. Taylor will also discuss the connection between the Lushingtons and the Stephen family. After the death of Mrs. Lushington, Vernon’s three daughters were taken under the wing of Julia Stephen, wife of Leslie Stephen and mother of Virginia Woolf. Vernon Lushington’s eldest daughter, Kitty, became the model for the title character of Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway (1925). The Lushingtons also spent summers with the Stephen family at Talland House in Cornwall, which provided the setting for the Ramseys’ summer home in Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927). Letters in the archive offer insight into Woolf’s fiction.

David Taylor is a historian, writer, and lecturer living in Cobham, Surrey. A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Taylor has published several works on the history of Cobham and presented lectures to the Virginia Woolf Society, the Pre-Raphaelite Society, and the William Morris Society. Vernon Lushington is the subject of Taylor’s doctoral research.

Event sponsored by the William Morris Society in the United States, the American Friends of Arts and Crafts in Chipping Campden, The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, and the Victorian Society in America.

Tickets ($12 for members of the Stickley Museum or the other co-sponsoring groups, $18 for others) may be purchased from at www.morrissociety.org or by sending a check to William Morris Society, P.O. Box 53263, Washington, DC 20009.

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