The British Library Notebooks

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1871-1881


◦ Wise VIII, 178-180

◦ T. A. J. Burnett, “Unpublished Notes on the Ashley Library” (The British Library, n.d.), 25-26

Scholarly Commentary


This collection consists of four notebooks now held at the British Library: Notebook I, Notebook 2, Notebook 3, and Notebook 4. Like many of DGR's notebooks, these contain various kinds of material. Unlike DGR's typical notebooks, which are quarto-sized with ruled paper, these four small notebooks with unruled paper were probably used by DGR to slip into the pocket of his painting smock, or some other jacket pocket. DGR was especially fond of the waistcoat pocket, which he regarded as particularly accessible. In his notes on the Ashley Library materials T. A. J. Burnett describes their contents as containing “many notes for, and drafts of, lines, couplets and stanzas of poems printed in Ballads and Sonnets, 1881, and Poems, 1881, but no complete poems, with the exception of a draft of “The Lamp's Shrine”. . . . In addition they contain many fragments of prose and poetry not used by Rossetti but often, for that reason, very revealing of his state of mind, notes of place and personal names for poems, ideas for pictures, addresses, accounts and notes of debts, recipes and prescriptions, and a few pencil sketches”.

The first notebook has material dating largely from 1871-1873 (but some material is much later), the second from 1871-1879, and the last two from 1879-1881.

See also the general commentary for all of DGR's notebook materials.

Textual History: Composition

Notebooks 2-4 were used from both ends.

Printing History

WMR printed parts of these notebooks in his 1911 edition of DGR's works. These pieces are distributed in different sections of his edition, most appearing in under the heading “Scraps”. T. A. J. Burnett plans to edit the notebooks for publication.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 22p-1880.raw.xml