Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Kelmscott is a remote rural village in a tranquil corner of West Oxfordshire. It is situated 2.5 miles east of Lechlade and 5 minutes walk from the River Thames.
Morris took the lease ofKelmscott Manor on a joint tenancy with Rossetti in June
As Linda Parry remarks, to Jane the area 'had always been more familiar to her than it had been to her husband: she had lived in Oxford all her life before marriage, and her mother had come from the neighbouring village of Alvescot'. Jane wrote to Philip Webb in 1871, slightly defensively but with affection for the area:
The country I find is not so beautiful after one gets away from the river,
though it is all delightful and home-like to me, and I love it, still I can well
understand others not being much impressed with it, who are not used
to it; every field is lovely by itself, and every house, but somehow when
one looks far out there is a sameness, a bareness of tree, which makes one
begin to want more, but of course I am only speaking of the few miles in
the immediate vicinity.
Here is William talking about he and Jane and the children visiting their landlady, Mrs Turner:
We used to make pleasant visits there, going to see the beasts and watching
the cheese-making, and after gigantic teas coming back in the cool of the
evening, the boat laden wi th flowers and fruit - everything the free-handed
souls could prevail upon us to take away.