Our first Coffee with a Curator talk of 2022 looks forward to the most romantic month of the year as we highlight an object from the collection that relates directly to Valentine’s Day.
One hundred and fourteen years ago, on 14th February 1908, Jane Morris presented a Kelmscott Press edition of The History of Godefrey of Boloyne and the Conquest of Jerusalem to her friend Amy Jane Tozer (1867-1961) on her marriage to Henry John Tozer (1864-1943). Amy Jane Tozer, née Carruthers, knew the Morrises well, becoming a family friend through her father, John Carruthers (1836-1914), a committed socialist who accompanied William Morris on several trips, including his last visit abroad. Amy is an interesting person in her own right and knew some of the leading artists and craftspeople of the day.
This wedding gift demonstrates the regard in which Amy Jane was held by Jane Morris and, fortuitously, Amy’s handwritten list of wedding presents, which features this generous gift, is also in the Society’s collection. The list of gifts, and who they were presented by, makes fascinating reading. From a Doves Press book given by Emery Walker to an embroidery gifted by May Morris, the wedding list reads like a roll call of those at the centre of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Please join us as to explore the history of William Morris’s reprint of Caxton’s The History of Godefrey of Boloyne in the context of its charming provenance.