Phrenograph of Thomas Woolner (manuscript)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: [Untitled]
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of composition: 1850
Type of Manuscript: holograph draft
Person to Whom the Manuscript was Assigned: DGR
Collation: 1 page


Current Location: Library of the South African National Gallery

Physical Description

Paper: pale blue unruled
Dimensions of Document: 4 1/2 x 7 1/4 in
Other Physical Features: The image of the document is badly defaced by a shadow that fell on the paper when it was being photographed.

Scholarly Commentary


DGR signed this phrenograph transcription that he made for his friend Thomas Woolner. The large lettering scripted at the center of the page—PRB— suggests that DGR was speculating that Woolner might have a cranium typical of the brotherhood.

The other side of the manuscript has Woolner's fair copy of his poem “The Question Unanswered” as well as a note by WMR identifying this phrenological “character” as having been cast by the famous phrenologist Cornelius Donovan.

The small manuscript is among a cache of materials originally in the possession of WMR and after that of John Robert Wahl. They finally passed into the library of the South African National Gallery.

Textual History: Composition

The manuscript dates from early 1850.

Printing History

The document has not heretofore been published

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 30-1850.sangms.rad.xml
Copyright: Published with permission of Iziko Museums of Cape Town