Eden Bower (composite draft and corrected copy manuscript, British Library)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: Eden Bower
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of composition: 1869 September
Type of Manuscript: Composite manuscript containing pencil first drafts and early corrected copy that descends directly from the pencil drafts.
Collation: 21 manuscript leaves plus 10 printed pages.
Scribe: DGR
Corrector: DGR


Current Location: The British Library, Ashley Collection
Catalog Number: Ashley 1394
Note: The material derives from the library of T. J. Wise.

Physical Description

Cover: The manuscript is rebound in red leather.
Paper: leaves 1-4 (unlined); leaves 5-13 (unlined, but a different paper from leaves 1-4; leaf 14 (lined); leaf 15 (as leaves 1-4); leaves 16-21 (as leaf 14); measurement approx. 11.4 x 17.7 cm.; plus 10 printed proof pages numbered 21-30, measuring 11.9 x 17.6 cm.
Watermark: none


  • Burnett, The Ashley Catalogue.
  • Wise, Ashley Library, VIII. 176-177.

Scholarly Commentary


T. A. J. Burnett's bibliographical notes on the Ashley Library comprise the fullest description of this set of manuscripts, which appear to represent “the whole sequence of composition of the poem”, as Burnett says. Their order of binding does not correspond to their order of composition, as Burnett also notes. Burnett gives “the correct order of ff.” (i.e., the compositional order) as follows: 14, 2-3, 15, 1, 1b, 4, 16-21, 6, 5, 7, 8-13.

The manuscript displays two numbering systems on its pages, both (usually) at the upper right of the sheets. The first sequence, which runs from 1-41, has been cancelled—or rather, many of the numbers in that sequence have been crossed out (though not all). The second sequence runs from 1-31. It is not at all clear what the first of these two sequences designated; it was in any case cancelled. The second sequence represents the present binding order of the leaves in the volume that holds the materials.

Bound after the manuscripts is the printed text of the poem as it appeared in the 1870 volume , on printed pages numbered 31-40.

Textual History: Composition

Burnett gives the dates of the manuscript as from 19 to the end of September 1869, which is correct, although DGR does seem to have worked on the conception of the poem before this.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 20-1869.blms.rad.xml
Copyright: By permission of The British Library