St. Wagnes' Eve

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1850 January 20
Rhyme: abbaaccadefdef
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the 1911.

Scholarly Commentary


The sonnet gives an intimate glimpse into the world of DGR's circle in 1851. WMR's substantial note on the sonnet in his edition of 1911 identifies the topical references. The two sculptors DGR mentions are John Hancock, a member of the Cyclographic Society, and Berhard Smith (1820-1885)—the latter was a painter as well and he shared a studio in Stanhope Street with Thomas Woolner. William North (d. 1855) was a minor Victorian writer, author of the posthumously published The Slave of the Lamp.

The sonnnet was written on 20 January, St. Agnes Eve. DGR wrenches the title to laugh at himself and his friends as a group of wags.

Textual History: Composition

No manuscript of the sonnet is known.

Printing History

First printed in WMR's Family Letters, 83 , where WMR comments on the sonnet. It was first collected in 1911.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 4-1851.raw.xml