Love's Fatality

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1871
Rhyme: abbaabbacddccd
Meter: iambic
Genre: sonnet


◦ WMR, DGR Designer and Writer, 219-220

◦ Baum, ed., House of Life, 145-146


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the 1881 Ballads and Sonnets first edition text.

Scholarly Commentary


As usual, Baum concentrates on what he calls “the biographic parable”, even as he insists that the sonnet defines a general condition of “Life-thwarted” love. DGR's procedure in all of the “House of Life” sonnets has been to multiply the referential and intertextual connections, thereby—as in this case—emphasizing the complexity of the situation of loving: endless and proliferating pleasure bound up with endless and prolifering frustration and loss.

Textual History: Composition

Four integral manuscripts survive. The earliest is the corrected copy in the Princeton composite “House of Life” sequence. Another more lighty corrected copy is in the Fitzwilliam composite “House of Life” sequence. There is as well a fair copy in the Bancroft collection (probably copy text for the 1881 printing), and another in the “Kelmscott Love Sonnets” sequence.

Printing History

First published in the 1881 Ballads and Sonnets and collected thereafter.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 27-1871.raw.xml