Ballads and Sonnets (1881), proof Signature L (Delaware Museum, late revise)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: Ballads and Sonnets
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Publisher: F. S. Ellis
Printer: Chiswick Press, C. Whittingham and Co.
City of publication: London
Date of publication: 1881 June 2
Pre-Publication Information: proof
Pagination: 145-[160]
Authorization: DGR
Collation: L 8


Current Location: Library, Delaware Art Museum

Physical Description

Point: 10 point; 6 point leading
Font: roman
Lines per Page: 17
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 complete copy (dated 2 June 1881 and numbered 5) of a late revise proof of Signature L of the Ballads and Sonnets volume. It has no corrections but carries a misprint at line 668, which DGR corrected in a final proof.

Textual History: Revision

In addition to this late revise, pulled just before the final proof, the library of the Delaware Museum of Art has the following proof materials for Signature L of DGR's Ballads and Sonnets volume: a complete copy of the first author's proof and a duplicate (both dated 14 Apr 81 and numbered 1); a fragmentary copy of the first revise (dated 19 Apr 81 and numbered 2); a series of revise proofs (see below) printed and revised between 20 April and the end of May and culminating in the final June proofs; and a final proof plus a duplicate final proof (both dated 7 June 1881) and two incomplete duplicates, duplicate 1 and duplicate 2. The British Library proofs have another copy (partial) of revise proofs for this signature (undated, unnumbered, and lacking pages 145-146, 159-160). These proofs date from the same period of revision exemplified by the large corpus of revises that came in late April and throughout May.

The revises that come in late April and throughout May are the following: a partial revise with DGR's corrections that must have followed shortly upon the second revise of 19 April, and a duplicate, also with DGR's corrections (undated and unnumbered); another relatively early partial revise with one correction (undated and unnumbered). Then come a series of revises dated 25 and 26 April: a complete revise, copy 1 (dated 25 April 1881 and numbered 1); a complete revise, copy 2 (undated and unnumbered); a complete revise (dated 26 April 1881 and numbered 2); another complete revise, duplicate (dated 26 April 1881 and numbered 2); a late duplicate complete revise (dated 26 April 1881 and numbered 2); a complete revise, uncut sheets (undated and unnumbered, but a shop copy that was pulled early in this proofing sequence); and miscellaneous page proofs (incomplete, undated and unnumbered). Finally, there are three revises, one complete, that can be dated 31 May 1881: the complete revise (undated, numbered 1) and the incomplete copy 1 and the incomplete copy 2 (both dated 31 May 1881 and both unnumbered).

The principal revisions would have been made around mid-May, as we can tell from DGR's correspondence with his publisher. A letter to Ellis of 13 May says that all of the revises received to that date—which would have been everything through signature Q—had been sent back. But on 15 May he writes again to Ellis asking that the final printing of signatures K and L be held up for further revisions, which DGR completed on 17-18 May, as letters to Ellis of those dates show.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1