Like “The Palimsest”, “The Cup of Water”, and “Michael Scott's Wooing”, this is a synopsis of a story that DGR sketched in or around 1870 but never executed. Each is not only arresting in itself, as a story, but each also touches on primary Rossettian themes and subjects. The conception of this story's finale, when the woman realizes that her lover's “spirit now hates her”, is particularly effective.
Two texts of this work survive: a draft in one of the small Ashley Library notebooks, and a fair copy in Notebook IV in the Duke University Library, which was apparently the text from which WMR printed the work. This is the same notebook that holds DGR's prose summaries for his other unexecuted stories.
First published by WMR in in his 1886 edition and collected thereafter. WMR seems to have altered DGR's manuscript title, “The Love Philtre”, to “The Philtre”.