The Rivals

Richard Watson Dixon

General Description

Date: 1856
Genre: Short story


◦ Burne-Jones, Georgiana. Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones.

Scholarly Commentary

Guest Editor: PC Fleming


This story is by Richard Watson Dixon (1833-1900), who had been the first to suggest the idea of a magazine. Dixon attended King Edward’s School with Burne-Jones, and entered Oxford the same year as him and Morris. He was also a poet, though he did not publish any verse in The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine.

Dixon’s narrative is more conventional than the other tales in the January issue of the Magazine. There is nothing unusual about the narrator’s love for his friend’s betrothed, the father’s hesitancy regarding his daughter’s marriage, or the vision of the ghost-ship that prophecies Margaret’s death. But this conventionality is one of the strengths of the story, and Dixon weaves these familiar tropes into a compelling narrative.

Dixon read this story to the rest of the brotherhood in 1855, to apparently bland reviews (Memorials 125).

Printing History

First printed in The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, January, 1856.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: Dixon001.raw.xml