Photograph; diary of a lover

Wilfred Blunt diary, page 120 showing picture of Jane Morris
in the Garden at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith.
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, MS 27-1975

When I ordered new photography for this photograph of Jane Morris something intriguing happened. The photo was glued in Wilfred Scawen Blunt’s diary and was covering a passage as I could tell by some letters emerging from the photo.

On the next page Blunt wrote about his first meeting with William Morris. I thought it was odd he didn’t mention Jane Morris with whom he later would have an affair. The conservation team of the Fitzwilliam Museum understood my curiosity and as a response to my suggestion of using X-radiography they carefully removed the photograph for me.

Wilfred Blunt diary, page 120 text found beneath the inserted picture of Jane Morris
in the Garden at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith.
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, MS 27-1975

With some image manipulation I managed to decipher the text. The text underneath is made slightly illegible but it describes meeting Jane the year before (1883).

note- This was the first time I saw Morris, I had made Mrs Morris’s acquaintance the summer before, 1883, at Nawwarth, for she was a friend of Mrs Howards, but I had not before been but, though I had been once or twice to see her at Hammersmith, I had not before met him.

Wilfred Blunt diary, page 120 text found beneath the inserted picture of Jane Morris
in the Garden at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith.
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, MS 27-1975, detail