Place de la Bastille, Paris

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1849 October 8
Rhyme: abbaabbacdedce
Meter: iambic
Genre: sonnet

Scholarly Commentary


Originally written in the fall of 1849, when DGR was travelling with Holman Hunt on the continent, the sonnet commemorates the infamous prison that became the focus of the French Revolution. The sonnet is one of a group of works that address social and political issues and that reflect commonplace English views of France from the period of the revolution to the end of DGR's life. See the commentaries for “After the French Liberation of Italy”, “The Can-Can at Valentino's”, “Vox Ecclesiae, Vox Christi”, and “On Refusal of Aid Between Nations”.

Textual History: Composition

Three manuscripts survive: the text in DGR's letter to his brother of 8 October 1849; an early fair copy with a correction, and a fair copy that DGR made in 1881 for the work's first publication in the Ballads and Sonnets volume.

Printing History

First published in the first edition of the 1881 Ballads and Sonnets and collected thereafter.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 15-1849.raw.xml