Ballads and Sonnets (1881), proof Signature N (Delaware Museum, first revise, copy 2)

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 April 28
Pre-Publication Information: proof
Pagination: 177-192
Issue: 2
Authorization: DGR
Collation: N 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 duplicate copy (dated 28 April 1881) of the first revise of Signature N of the Ballads and Sonnets volume. Like the other copy of this first revise, this copy has DGR's textual corrections, but unlike the latter, it does not carry his corrrections to some of the titles of the sonnets. In the first proofs for Signatures M and N, the sonnets ran over to the versos so that on Signature M only seven sonnets plus the Introductory sonnet were first printed, and on Signature N only eight sonnets were printed. As DGR's note to the printer on page 163 of the first author's proof for Signature M in the Delaware Museum Library shows, both of these signatures were directed for major redesign, with one sonnet to be printed on each page. Beginning with this first revise, all subsequent printings put each sonnet on a separate page, with no run-ons to the versos.

Another major change was made in early May, as the proofs pulled on 6 May show. DGR called for a shift in the sequence-position that involved four of the sonnets (see DGR's notes to the printer on pages 183 and 191 of copy 1 of the fourth revise).

This is the only signature that contains a cancel, which DGR called for on 3 August and which was made by the printer on 7 August. The proof for this cancel leaf is among the Delaware Museum's large collection of proofs.

Textual History: Revision

Besides this duplicate copy of the first revise, the Delaware proofs include the following: copy 1 and copy 2 of the first proof with only eight sonnets printed; a copy of the first revise (dated 28 April 1881 and numbered 1a), with DGR's corrections throughout; copy 1 and copy 2 of the second revise (dated 3 May 1881 and numbered 1a and 1b respectively), both without revisions; a corrected and two uncorrected copies of the third revise ( uncorrected copy 1 and uncorrected copy 2), all dated 4 May 1881 and numbered 3c, 3a, and 3b respectively; an uncorrected and two corrected copies of the fourth revise ( corrected copy 1 and corrected copy 2), all dated 6 May 1881 and numbered 4a, 4b, and 4c respectively; four copies of the final proof, including WMR's copy with his notes, DGR's corrected copy, an uncorrected partial copy, and a copy with uncut sheets), all undated and numbered 5a, 5b, 5c, and 5d. Delaware also has the proof of the cancel leaf (pages 185-186), marked as such and with with DGR's correction. The British Library proofs have another copy of revise proofs for this signature (dated 3 May).

Electronic Archive Edition: 1