Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1843
Genre: prose-tale


◦ WMR, Family Letters vol. 1, 103.

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. I, 2 (no. 10).

Scholarly Commentary


All copies of this juvenile prose tale seem to have been destroyed, but a drawing that DGR made to illustrate the story survives. WMR describes the story with a good deal of verve and enthusiasm: “I remember something of it, but not in clear detail. The Devil (a personage of great predilection with my brother ever since his early acquaintance with Göthe's Faust, which drama he read and re-read afterwards in Filmore's translation) was a principal character. There was a love-story, in the course of which the Devil interfered in a very exasperating way between the lover and his fair one. He either personated the lover, or conjured-up a phantom of the lady, and made love to her, and was seen by the lover in the act—or something of this kind. There was also a duel in which he intermixed. Rossetti wrote some four or five chapters of this story, on the scale of chapters in an ordinary novel, and he contemplated offering Sorrentino for publication. Finally he abandoned it, and I dare say he had destroyed the MS. before he was of age. I have always rather regretted the disappearance of Sorrentino. To my boyish notion, it was spirited, effective, and well told; and I fancy that, were it extant, it would be found by far better than his previous small literary attempts. That he entered fully into the spirit of a story of diablerie is certain; and, having by this time some moderate command over his pen, he may have been not incapable of doing something in that line himself” (see WMR, Memoir, I. 103 ).

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 1-1843.s10.raw.xml