Edward Burne-Jones (Birmingham 1833 - London 1898)
inscribed upper centre: "MIRK STRIDERS"
pencil on paper
257 x 197 mm
The artist, by whom given to his granddaughter,
Angela Margaret Thirkell (née Mackail) (1890-1966), and by descent to her son,
Graham Campbell McInnes (1912-1970), by whom given to his daughter, and by descent
This is one of a group of drawings Burne-Jones made for his granddaughter, Angela Machail (later Thirkell). The first one was made in 1892 when she was eighteen months old. Angela later became a successful writer and in her 1931 childhood memoir, Three Houses, she records the creation of this sheet:
Best of all I remember the Mirk Strider, whom he drew at my wish one evening. I sat close up to him, watching the horror grow. With the very soft pencil that he used for this drawing he adumbrated a shadowy figure of unearthly size, clawing hands outstretched in front, hair flying backwards in the wind of its onward course, taking hills and valleys in its seven-leagued stride, a starless night overshadowing whatever evil it was bent upon.