Bodleian Notebook II


Production Description

Author: DGR
Date of composition: 1870-1880 ?
Type of Manuscript: miscellaneous collection
Collation: 1-18
Scribe: DGR
Corrector: DGR


Current Location: The Bodleian Library
Catalog Number: Ms Eng. poet.d.44

Physical Description

Paper: unruled laid white
Dimensions of Document: 11.4 x 18 cm

Scholarly Commentary


The collection of manuscripts was put together by the Bodleian Library to hold a miscellaneous collection of loose DGR manuscripts that came to the library as part of the May Morris bequest (see Robert Steele's note in the bound volume of so-called Kelmscott Love Sonnets). The volume itself measures 23.5 x 19cm.

The texts of the poems often differ markedly from the received texts, altering our sense of the intricate personal meanings of the poems. What bears most pertinently on the issue of meaning is the fact that all of these texts were sent by DGR to Jane Morris. That connection inevitably highlights certain personal features of the poems that might have otherwise passed notice.

In addition, the poems seem to be carefully arranged as a sequence. The order almost certainly is not DGR's but it is a deliberately interpretive one, and probably represents Mrs. Morris's sense of an apt arrangement. What she may have thought can be glimpsed in a passage from DGR's letter to her of 26 November 1880—a response to a letter (not extant) that she wrote to him: “I felt deeply the regard so deeply expressed in your last letter. I may claim to deserve it on the ground only of an equal regard—would I could say of any worthy result! The deep-seated basis of feeling, as expressed in that sonnet [i.e., “True Woman. I”, is as fresh and unchanged in me towards you as ever. though all else is withered and gone.”

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: The Bodleian Library, Oxford