William and Marie. A Ballad

Alternately titled: William and Mary. A Ballad

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1841
Genre: ballad


◦ Baum, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. An Analytical List of Manuscripts in the Duke University Library (1931), 3-5

◦ Fisher, “DGR's ‘William and Marie’” (1971), 121-129

Scholarly Commentary


When DGR completed the ballad he submitted it for publication in Smallwood's magazine (which published two volumes in 1841) along with an illustration for lines 69-72. The work was not accepted.

Two texts of this early ballad imitation survive, both in DGR's hand (though Baum incorrectly ascribes the Duke transcription to DGR's father Gabriele). Both are DGR's fair copies. The Duke manuscript was sent to the editor of Smallwood's and was made from the Rosenbach manuscript. The Duke manuscript is titled “William and Marie” while the Rosenbach's title is “William and Mary”. Lines 65-68 are an addition made to the Rosenbach manuscript after it was copied out by DGR.

Fisher's commentary on the ballad usefully locates it in the ballad tradition that DGR cultivated all his life. As is well known DGR was especially drawn to the ballad's gothic and supernatural strains.

Textual History: Composition

WMR dates the ballad to 1843 but the existence of DGR's letter to Smallwood's indicates this date is not correct.

Printing History

The ballad was first published from the Duke manuscript in 1971 by Benjamin Franklin Fisher IV.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 2-1843.f83.raw.xml