Poems. (Privately Printed.): First Trial Book (partial), Princeton/Troxell (copy 1)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: Poems. (Privately Printed.)
Printer: Strangeways and Walden
City of publication: London
Date of publication: 1869 October 3
Pre-Publication Information: This is a partial copy of the first state of the First Trial Book.
Pagination: i-iv, [missing pages 1-4], 5-8, [missing pages 9-12], 13-18, [missing pages 19-20], 21-24, [missing pages 25-26], 27-30, [missing pages 31-34], 35-44, [missing pages 45-46], 47-52, [missing pages 53-56], 57-66, [missing pages 67-68], 69-70, [missing pages 71-72], 73-74, [missing pages 75-76], 77-78, [missing pages 79-84], 85-86, 85-86 (revise), [missing pages 87-88], 89-92, [missing pages 93-100], 101-102, [missing page 103], 104, [missing page 105], 106, [missing pages 107-108], 109, [missing pages 110-111], 112-113, 112-113 (revise), [missing pages 114-115], 116, 119, [missing page 120], 121, [missing pages 122-132], 133, [missing page 134], 135, 136, 136 (revise), 137, 138, 138 (revise), 139-141, 141 (revise), [missing pages 142-144], 145, [missing page 146], 147-148, [missing pages 149-156], 157, [missing pages 158-167], 168-169, [missing page 170], 171-172, 172 (revise), 173, 174, [missing pages 175-176], 177; [missing pages 178-199].
Authorization: DGR
Corrector: DGR


Current Location: Princeton University Library, Troxell Collection.
Catalog Number: 23301


  • Lewis, The Trial Book Fallacy, 186.
  • Wise, The Ashley Library, VIII. 171-176.
  • Troxell, “The Trial Books”, 184-185.
  • Fraser, “The Rossetti Collection of Janet Camp Troxell”, 162.
  • Burnett, The Ashley Catalogue, I. 71-72.

Scholarly Commentary


This is a partial set of the first state of the First Trial Book . (But a separate set of proofs for the first two poems in this trial book was pulled late in September.) This is one of three copies in the Princeton/Troxell collection. The others are: a complete copy of the second state of the proof (which he sent as a gift to Miss Losh); and a fragmentary set of ten proof pages (both also in the Princeton/Troxell collection). This copy represents one that DGR kept in his possession and on which he marked his revisions. From notes on two of the pages we can see that DGR must have kept copies of the different pre-publication texts, which he marked with the revisions as they were being made over time—sometimes over a period of several months.

This copy contains a number of separate revises for individual pages. Lewis (see The Trial Book Fallacy 186) asserts that these revises belong to the second state of the First Trial Book, but although possible, this seems unlikely. They are more probably individual revises.

Textual History: Revision

Only a few of the corrections made in this copy were incoporated into the second state of this trial book. Most represent the continuous process of revision that DGR carried out in the proofs that he kept for correction. This set must have been one he exchanged with his publisher.

Printing History

The First Trial Book is the fourth integral set of prepublication printings toward the work that would eventually appear as the Poems of 1870. Its printing in this the first state of the Trial Book was completed on or just before 3 October, but revisions made therein were quickly incoporated into the second state. A second copy of this first state of the trial book exists in the British Library. This is Ashley 1393. The fragmentary set of ten additional pages preserved in the Princeton/Troxell collection are from the original integral proof that also included the British Library copy materials. Two perfect copies of the second state of the trial book exist: the so-called Losh copy (in the Princeton/Troxell collection), and the Fitzwilliam copy .

Electronic Archive Edition: 1