Sister Helen (fair copy, lines 93-98, 205-273, British Library)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: [Untitled]
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of composition: 1879
Type of Manuscript: fair copy
Note: Four manuscript pages made from one folded leaf.
Scribe: DGR
Corrector: DGR


Current Location: The British Library. Morris Collection
Catalog Number: Morris Papers (vol. XVI), Add. MSS 45353, ff. 19-22

Physical Description

Paper: unlined, cream: 180 x 228mm, 4 pages, one a double page
Watermark: unwatermarked


  • Troxell, Rossetti's Sister Helen.
  • Bryson and Troxell, DGR and Jane Morris: Their Correspondence, 124-126.

Scholarly Commentary


DGR sent these four pages of manuscript additions to the poem in a letter to Jane Morris dated conjecturally November 1879. DGR called these “the new stanzas” showing “that the witch began her spell on the wedding-morning of her false lover. Thus the ‘alas for birth!’ which was of course not probable. I think you will agree that the gain to the subject is enormous—in fact, once thought of I cannot think how I never did it before. Moreover, the excess of her provocation (in spite of the height of her spite) humanizes her somewhat. I suppose you have the Tauchnitz edition which has several amendments” (see Bryson and Troxell ,124-126). The change that DGR talks about here was in the end kept out of the poem.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 2-1851.blms2.rad.xml
Copyright: By permission of the British Library