Poems. A New Edition (1881), proof Signature S (Delaware Museum, author's first proof)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: Poems. A New Edition
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Publisher: F. S. Ellis
Printer: Strangeways and Walden
City of publication: London
Date of publication: 1881 May 16 (circa)
Pre-Publication Information: proof
Pagination: 257-272
Issue: 1
Authorization: DGR
Collation: S 8


Current Location: Library, Delaware Art Museum

Physical Description

Point: 10 point; 6 point leading
Font: roman
Lines per Page: 22
Margin top: 2 cm
Margin bottom: 3.8 cm
Margin right: 2 cm
Margin left: 2.5 cm
Dimensions of Document: 19 x 12.8cm (crown octavo)

Scholarly Commentary


This is a corrected copy of the first proof of Signature S of the 1881 Poems . Its sequencing of the sonnets is very different from the received order, and while one of DGR's reordering changes is apparent here (on page 271), DGR must have used another (not extant) proof of the signature to record the changes that appear in the first revise proof (where yet further reorderings were made).

The removal of the sonnet on page 271 shows that DGR was correcting the proofs for both of his 1881 volumes simultaneously, at least at the point when he had this proof signature in hand. The sonnet here was transferred to Ballads and Sonnets volume, where it was put into “The House of Life” and retitled as “Soul's Beauty”. The terminal punctuation of line 4 on page 267 strongly suggests that another set of proofs for this state of the signature must have existed on which DGR changed this punctuation to a comma from the period shown here. In any case, the punctuation is a comma in the first revise proof, where DGR corrects it (back) to a period.

Textual History: Revision

Five copies of this proof signature are preserved in the library of the Delaware Art Museum. They include this corrected author's first proof, an uncorrected duplicate, the corrected author's first revise, an uncorrected duplicate, and an uncorrected final proof.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1