The Early Italian Poets, Working Papers

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: [Untitled]
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of composition: 1849?
Type of Manuscript: holograph draft
Person to Whom the Manuscript was Assigned: DGR
Collation: 1 page


Current Location: Library of the South African National Gallery

Physical Description

Paper: pale blue unlined
Dimensions of Document: 8 1/4 x 6 1/4 in
Other Physical Features: The text is in two hands, DGR's and an unknown copyist. The interlinear text is in pencil, the rest is in ink.

Scholarly Commentary


This interesting document is a page of working notes, transcriptions, and translations clearly related to DGR's project that eventually became The Early Italian Poets . The presence here of DGR's partial interlinear translation of a passage from the Roman de la Rose indicates his early intention to illustrate how the courtly love tradition was a European phenomenon. For DGR, of course, the Italian strand was the key one. The Italian poetry transcribed at the top and bottom of the verso—the former not in DGR's hand—comprise three separate fragments from Guido della Colonne's famous canzone “Amor che lunghiamente m' hai menato” (translated by DGR as “To Love and to his Lady”: lines 30-39 (at the top of the page), and (at the bottom) lines 5-7 and 18-19.

The texts on these two pages are loosely organized. It appears that DGR first used the sheet and folded it in half, the top page carrying at first only the cryptic notation “Meuccio Cacciatigre (God's Result!)”. On the verso of that fold DGR had initially written the note citing Bindo Boniche da Siena. The other two pages of this folded leaf would have been empty. Sometime later the poetical texts were added, probably in this order: first the sonnet by Bernardo da Bologna; then the text (followed later by the interlinear pencil translation) of the passage from the Roman de la Rose; and finally the texts from Guido delle Colonne's canzone, with one line given an initial translation (in pencil). This translation did not survive into the final work.

Textual History: Composition

While this document is not specifically datable, it is unquestionably early, probably as early as 1848.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 1-1861.sangms.rad.xml
Copyright: Published with the permission of Iziko Museums of Cape Town