Poems. (Privately Printed.), A Proofs

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1869 September 13 (circa)


◦ Wise, The Ashley Library, IV. 124-125.

◦ Troxell, “The Trial Books”, 192.

◦ Fraser, “The Rossetti Collection of Janet Camp Troxell”, 160-161.

◦ Lewis, The Trial Book Fallacy, 186.

Scholarly Commentary


The so-called A Proofs were pulled from the revised set of the Penkill Proofs that DGR sent to London on 2 September 1869 (see DGR's letter to WMR, 2 Sptember 1869: Fredeman, Correspondence 69. 146 ).

The A Proofs, printed on 13 September 1869, are the second integral set of proofs that were prepared for DGR as part of the printing process that would eventuate in the publication of the 1870 Poems in April 1870. They comprise Lewis's third Proof State ( Lewis, Trial Book Fallacy, 186 ).

A perfect copy of the A Proofs—DGR's and then WMR's copy—was sold at Christie's 29 July 1971 (lot 456). It went into the library of Simon Nowell-Smith, and from there passed into the collection of Mark Samuels Lasner. It shows a few printer's corrections. Two partial copies are preserved in the Princeton/Troxell Collection: copy 1, which is heavily marked up by DGR; and copy 2, which has many fewer pages and only some few pencil corrections of the pagination. The two partial copies represent the remains of two distinct sets of these proofs, not a scattering of pages from one or two copies.

Along with theA2 Proofs, the A Proofs comprise a volatile moment in the prepublication sequence of printings. A and A2 followed quickly one upon the other, and together they represent DGR's initial revisions to the Penkill Proofs, which were printed about 18 August. DGR received the A Proofs on 13 September 1869 and immediately was working on them (see DGR's letter to WMR, 14 September 1869: Fredeman, Correspondence 69. 154 ). He completed his revisions while he was at Penkill, and returned to London on 20 September. The A2 Proofs, with the additions and corrections, were pulled about 21 September.

A mixed set of proofs containing pages from the A Proofs, the A2 Proofs, and the first and second trial books—none of the pages with any manuscript markings—is housed in the Troxell collection as well. These proofs are bound into the second volume of the 1901 edition of DGR's Collected Works.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 1-1870.a.raw.xml