Princess Rosamond is Sleeping Beauty, her kingdom the subject of Edward Burnes-Jones the Pre-Raphaelite who inspired Tolkien’s Tale of the Ring. So did all the Brothers.
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has a world-renowned collection of works by Burne-Jones and the Pre-Raphaelites that, some claim, strongly influenced the young J.R.R. Tolkien, who would later go on to write his novels, such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, with their influence taken from the same mythological scenes portrayed by the Pre-Raphaelites.
Scene 1: The Briar Rose: The Briar Wood
In the original study for The Briar Wood some of the knights appear to be more feminine than masculine. Burne-Jones modelled the knights from women: Jane Morris, Georgiana (his wife), and Maria Zambaco, the Greek beauty who later became his paramour.
Morris and Co. designs often were created for one medium and then adapted and modified for another. Edward Burne-Jones designed a set of nine two-tile Sleeping Beauty panels for a bedroom fireplace at ‘The Hill’, the home of painter Myles Birket Foster in the 1860s.
Ten years later, he developed a series of three small paintings, and then four larger works that he worked on intermittently from 1870 to 1890. The series was displayed with verses by William Morris. Unlike the fairy tale tales painted for ‘The Hill’, the Briar Rose series does not tell a sequential story but shows the sleepers as seen by the prince as he makes his way through the castle to The Rose Bower.
Related products: The fairy
The fateful slumber floats and flows
About the tangle of the rose.
But lo the fated hand and heart
To rend the slumberous curse apart.
The threat of war, the hope of peace
The Kingdom’s peril and increase.
Sleep on, and bide the latter day
When fate shall take her chains away.
The maiden pleasance of the land
Knoweth no stir of voice or hand,
No cup the sleeping waters fill,
The restless shuttle lieth still.
Here lies the hoarded love the key
To all the treasure that shall be.
Come, fated hand, the gift to take
And smite the sleeping world awake.
‘Capturing Beauties Rose’
“Many men say that there is nothing in dreams but fables and lies,
but one may have dreams which are not decietful, whose import becomes
quite clear afterward.”
Thus begins the ‘Romaunt of the Rose’ by Chaucer, that ends thus…
“The ending of the tale you see
The Lover draws anigh the tree,
And takes the branch, and takes the rose,
That love and he so dearly chose.”
My daughter Heather was born on Rosemary’s Birthday, September 26,
1984. Eighteen months ago she was introduced to me by an angel, in a
dream. A month ater we would meet for the first time, she just
turning sweet sixteen. She never met her grandmother, Rosemary, or
her aunt,Christine, the world renouned artist, Rosamond, they passing
away before this rose, this branch of the family could be found.
When I was twenty three I let my hair grow long after the Nazarite
Artists of Germany a group who would inspire Dante Gabriel Rossetti
to form the Pre-Raphaelite Artists of Great Britain. Fair Rosamond
and the Romaunt of the Rose was an inspriration to the Pre-
Raphaelites, who like the Nazarite Artists, were bringing back a
religious theme to Art. Both groups drew upon Arthurian and Grail
legends that have been recently been linked to the Knight Templars
who are said to have been Nazarites, and who worshipped John the
Baptist, a Nazarite for life.
Rossetti did a painting of Rosamond, and Edward Burne-Jones did two,
not counting his ‘Briar Rose’ series who was named Rosamond by Grimm
in his tale of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, who I identify as the sleeping
goddess, Ariadne. King Henry built a bower and Labyrinth for Fair
Rosamond, that might have been used to initiate the Templars into an
ancient Hermetic teaching. Lord Tennyson includes her in his poem ‘A
Dream of Fair Women’, and Swinburne wrote an epic poem titled ‘The
Queen Mother and Rosamond’.
Gautheir de Coste Calprenede makes Rosamonde the paramour of
Pharamond King of the Long-haired Franks. Swinburne wrote a similar
work about another paramour of the Merovinians titled ‘Chronicle of
Fredegond,Rosamond’. Pharamond descends from Fromond, a name that
appears twice in a branch of the Rougemont/Rosemont genealogy, and
are the Lords of Neufchatel who become the De La Roche family, also
known as De La Rosa, a name born of the Rock and the Rose. Our Dreams
have come true.
Christine Rosamond Presco, a ‘Rose of the World’ was born October 24,
1947 in Vallejo California. Christina was the third child of Victor
and Rosemary, our mother one of four beautiful daughters born to the
writer and poet, Royal Rosamond, and Mary Magdalene Wieneke. Royal
and Mary met in Los Angeles where Mary went to live after leaving her
father’s farm in Iowa. Seeking her independance, as a young woman
Mary worked as a seamtress in Downtown L.A. The Wienekes were said to
have owned castles in Germany. Mary was a frequent guest at
Krishnamurti’s retreat in the Ojai Valley where her brother had a
farm and may have delved in the philosophy of the Theosophic Society.
Royal wrote stories for ‘Out West’ the ‘Arcadian’ and several Romance
magazines, he sailing to the Anacapa Islands with is friend, Dashiel
Hammet, the author of the ‘Maltese Falcon’, a mystery novel that was
made into a movie about the search for a golden falcon once belonging
to the Knights Templars. Royal taught Earl Stanley Gardner the
rudiments of writing. Royal’s poem ‘Your Name’ could well acompany
Rossetti’s painting of the young man writing his lover’s name in the
Living by the sea in Ventura California, Rosemary, and her sister,
Lillian, were courted by the famous actor, Errol Flyn, thus, there
was a powerful sense of the Romantic in our household that would
influence both Christine’s and my work. All the Rosamond women were
beautiful, they the arhetypes for the rosy women that began to peer
gracefully from their canvases in the early seventies at a changing
world, their beauty and strength heralding in the Woman’s Movement,
the very idea women could now own their own Creation and Creations.
In the words of Swineburne’s Fair Rosamond;
“But that I am
Part of the perfect witness for the world.”
My dear sister drowned off the Coast of Carmel on March 26,1994. The
legacy this complex person left behind is an important one as we were
both influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite artists who are at the core of
Grail Mysteries that have surfaced once again in the Quest for
Religious and Spiritual pertinence. The name Rosamond means ‘Rose of
the World’ and is one of the names applied to the Shekinah which is
the ‘Light of the World’ that I believe is found at the center of the
Labyrinth, like the one King Henry the second built for the love of
his life, Fair Rosamond. He also built a Well and Arcadia for her
after the story of Tristan and Isolde. A Grail Cup entwined in a vine
was engraved on her tomb. She has been compared to Mary Magdalene by
some authors, and a Catholic Bishop upon seeing how she was being
worshipped by Knights about to go on Crusade, had her remains removed
from the Nunnery at Glascow, and scattered to the wind; he calling
her a whore.
Christine gave me credit for being her teacher, my art touring the
world in a Red Cross show when I was twelve, and then again when I
was sixteen. In 1970 I discovered Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Pre-
Raphaelite Brotherhood, they modeling their movement after the
Nazarene artists of Germany, a guild dedicated to bringing back a
spritual base to Germany’s fine art. The Rossetti family were all
gifted. Christina Rossetti was an extraordinary poet and was
considered a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Her father
translated ‘Dante’s Inferno’ and owned a Publishing firm that her
brother Michael opperated. Dante was a close friend of the famous
poet, Algernon Swineburne, whose poem ‘The Queen Mother and Fair
Rosamond’ became a model and inspiration for all the Pre-Raphaelites
who resurected themes from the Grail Romances, breathing new life
into the Knights and Fair Maidens of our Ancient Dawn, raising a new
light in the search for the Truth.