Sir Hugh the Heron

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: Sir Hugh the Heron
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Publisher: G. Polidori's Private Press
Printer: G. Polidori's Private Press
Date of publication: 1843
Pagination: [1]-24


Current Location: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin
Catalog Number: pr5244.s47


  • Gregory, “Life and Works of DGR,” 101-102.
  • Peattie, Letters of William Michael Rossetti, 518, 536, 537, 564, 565, 581, 589-90, 592, 596, 629.

Scholarly Commentary


Only a handful of privately printed copies of this ballad have survived. DGR began the work when he was twelve years old; he finished it when he was fourteen, at the encouragement of his grandfather, Gaetano Polidori. Polidori printed Sir Hugh on his private press. The work has never been included in any of the collected editions of DGR's works.

Textual History: Composition

DGR wrote the majority of this poem when he was twelve, adding the last few pages a few years later (WMR, Family Letters , vol. 1, 84).

Reception History

Polidori's print run was distributed privately, limiting the readership for this ballad. DGR shared his ballad in 1843 when visiting family friends the Maenzas in Boulogne; he reports that it “received the necessary amount of compliments” (Fredeman, Correspondence, 28). Later in life, this juvenile effort embarrassed the author; DGR asked WMR to destroy the extra copies, and WMR later recalled disposing of a "large remainder-stock" in his possession (WMR, Family Letters , vol. 1, 84). Few copies survive.

Printing History

In a letter to T.J. Wise, dated 7 August 1888, WMR described the printed texts as existing “simply in sheets and folded.” In 1889 WMR claimed his supply of over-stock was exhausted. However, in a 1895 letter to Wise, WMR relates the discovery of additional copies among the papers of CGR (Peattie, Letters of William Michael Rossetti , 589-90, 537n.3).

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 1-1841.rad.xml
Copyright: Digital images courtesy of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin.