The Blessed Damozel (fair copy manuscript)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: The Blessed Damsel
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of composition: 1855 September
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
Scribe: DGR


Current Location: Pierpont Morgan Library
Note: The MS came to the library with the collection of the Marchesa Peruzzi de Medici of Florence, in 1927. The Marchesa's family and the Brownings were good friends from 1848.

Physical Description

Other Physical Features: The MS is a single sheet, 12 15/16 x 7 15/16in, copied fair, with the text written in two parallel columns. The text covers one side entirely; the reverse is blank.


  • Baum, “The Blessed Damozel”
  • Peterson, “The Pierpont Morgan Manuscript of Rossetti's ‘The Blessed Damozel’”.
  • Sanford. “The Morgan Library Manuscript of Rossetti's ‘The Blessed Damozel’”.

Scholarly Commentary


This is the only complete holograph MS of the poem. It was copied out by Rossetti and given to Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning in 1855 as a present. On Monday, 1 October 1855, DGR wrote to Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “I copied out that old production of mine, & now enclose it. It has gained some value in my eyes since Mr. Browning quoted two lines of it. It was written long ago, but has been very little altered since except by omission ” (Fredeman, Correspondance , vol.2, 69 ).

Textual History: Composition

As Peterson has shown, the Morgan MS has a number of erasures strongly suggesting that DGR was making this copy from a working manuscript for the 1856 Oxford and Cambridge Magazine text. The latter's first number appeared on 1 January 1856.

Textual History: Revision

The MS has no revisions as such, being a fair copy. But it has a number of important erasures that give insight into the copy text from which the Morgan MS was made. Furthermore, unique variants (see lines 9, 27, 61, 83, 110) as well as various other readings that correspond to the 1856 text (rather than the 1850), are certainly true revised readings. Peterson (415) also points out that in making this text DGR carefully turned all the “gold” references to a “silver” quality (see lines 2, 66, 142).

Production History

The MS was reproduced in facsimile and in a printed version as well in BaumBD.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 1-1847.morgms.rad.xml
Copyright: Digital images courtesy of Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.