St. Agnes of Intercession (Virginia Fair Copy MS)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: St. Agnes of Intercession
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of composition: 1870
Type of Manuscript: Fair copy manuscript, with corrections
Collation: 1-21 (versos blank); 70 blank pages.


Current Location: Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
Catalog Number: MSS 13092

Physical Description

Cover: Soft blue leather cover trimmed in gold
Endpapers: Marbled
Note on binding: On upper left inside the front cover is a stationer's label:

Sold by

Partridige & Cooper

192 Fleet St.
Paper: ruled white laid paper
Watermark: J. ALLEN & SONS

Dimensions of Document: 22.2 x 18cm

Scholarly Commentary


WMR's notes on the cover page and his continuation of the transcription on the last page help to explain the character of this manuscript. It is the copy (with a few revisions) that DGR made sometime in 1870, presumably with a thought to completing and printing it. We want to recall that in preparing his volume of 1870 poems for the press in 1869-1870, he originally had some thought to publish Hand and Soul in the volume. After deciding to remove it from that book, he published it in The Fortnightly Review, where it appeared in the December issue (n.s. 7, pages 692-702).

WMR clearly saw additional “loose pages of [the] original copy” of “St. Agnes of Intercession” that took the story “much further”—in fact, to the point of the incomplete tale that we have in the received version first printed by WMR in 1886. The location of those loose pages that took the story further on is not known, but the last prose text of this transcription, in WMR's hand, shows that he had them when he added that text to the end of DGR's this incomplete transcript (which he did, presumably, to indicate where the continuation was to come in).

This is an integral copy of the kind of notebook that DGR typically used in his work. Only two other integral copies exist, the Jane Morris gift notebook in the Bodleian and a holograph fair copy of “Rose Mary” in the British Library.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Copyright: Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge