The Stream's Secret and Four Sonnets (early proof copy, British Library)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: [Untitled]
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of composition: 1870 March 22
Type of Manuscript: corrected proof
Collation: pp. [1]-12, [13-16]
Corrector: DGR


Current Location: British Library, Morris Papers
Catalog Number: Add. MSS 45353
Note: The proofs were sent to Jane Morris by DGR.

Physical Description

Paper: printed on one side only, 12 leaves measuring (variously) 9.5-10.5 x 13-14 cm.
Watermark: none


  • Fraser, “The Rossetti Collection of Janet Camp Troxell”, 164.
  • Keane, “D. G. Rossetti's Poems 1870”, 205-207.
  • Lewis, The Trial Book Fallacy , 187-188.
  • Troxell,“The Trial Books”, 188-189.

Scholarly Commentary


These are the earliest proofs of the five poems, and it is significant that DGR sent this copy to Jane Morris, rather than to Swinburne or his brother (who were also receiving regular sets of proofs for reaction and critique). It underscores the association of the poems with her, a fact emphasized in his letter to her of 30 August 1869 (see Bryson and Troxell 26-27). The association is particularly important with respect to “The Stream's Secret” .

The four additional sonnets are “The Love-Letter”, “Barren Spring”, “The Wine of Circe” , and “The Monochord”. The proof pages of these sonnets are here unpaginated and are discontinuous from the latter. However, they appear to have been printed on the same printer's sheet, as DGR's letter to Alice Boyd of 22 March 1870 also suggests (see Fredeman, Correspondence, 70.63 ).

Other copies of this 16-page revise are housed in the Huntington Library; the British Library ( Ashley 1404); two identical copies in the Fitzwilliam, both bound with other proofs for the 1870 Poems ( proofs for the first edition and mixed proofs for the first edition ; and two imperfect copies, nearly identical, in the Princeton/Troxell collection (see copy 1 and copy 2).

There were four states that this revise passed through; this is the first.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: morrisblprf.rad.xml
Copyright: By permission of the British Library.