Dialogue I., in the House of Kalon Work

John Orchard

General Description

Date: 1850
Genre: prose dialogue


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

Scholarly Commentary


The dialogue is by John Orchard (d. 1850), a young enthusiast of DGR and the PRB about whom not much is known. Orchard sent the work to DGR in February 1850 as the first in a proposed series. He died before completing the others (see Fredeman, The P.R.B. Journal 56). DGR and the other PRBs were much impressed with the piece, which is in fact quite interesting. DGR's admiration is apparent from the notice he attached as a kind of preface to the dialogue in The Germ IV (146-167) where both were published. WMR has a long notice of the work in his 1901 reprint Introduction (pages 25-26). The dialogue is perhaps the most trenchant statement of Pre-Raphaelite ideas published in The Germ.

Orchard wrote a pair of interesting sonnets on DGR's Girlhood of Mary Virgin picture. The gesture was very much in the spirit of the Early Italian poets and artists that the PRB, like Orchard, admired. They also supply an interesting mirror to DGR's own sonnets for the picture. (The sonnets were first published by Fredeman from a manuscript in the University of British Columbia Library: see Fredeman, Journal of the P. R. B., 200 ). Of the dialogue WMR shrewdly remarked in his journal entry for 20 March 1850 that in “treating herein chiefly of early Christian—or as he terms it, Pre-Raffaele—Art” he “seem[ed] to out-P.R. the P. R. B.” (see Fredeman, Journal of the P. R. B., 64 ).

See also Orchard's poem “On a Whit-sunday morn in the month of May” published in the same issue as his dialogue on art, and printed immediately after it ( The Germ IV (167-169)).

Textual History: Composition

Orchard wrote the dialogue in February and March 1850, but did not complete it before his death.

Printing History

Published in The Germ no. 4, pages 146-167.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: orchard001.raw.xml