The James Anderson Rose* Pre-Publication Copy of Rossetti's Early Italian Poets

Front cover

Inscription
Rear cover

Bookplate
Rossetti, D[ante]. G[abriel]. (transl.), THE EARLY ITALIAN POETS FROM CIULLO D'ALCAMO TO DANTE ALIGHIERI: (1100-1200-1300) IN THE ORIGINAL METRES TOGETHER WITH DANTE'S VITA NUOVA (London: Smith Elder & Co., 1861).  First edition, 18 x 12cm (8vo), in publisher's dark brown vertical rib-grain cloth w/gilt design by the author to covers & spine, gilt title to spine, a.e. untrimmed, chocolate ep.s, [i-vi] vii-xxxvi, [1] 2-464 pp. +Errata leaf listing 5 corrections & announcement of Rossetti's forthcoming Dante at Verona and Other Poems.  Printed by Whittingham & Wilkins at the Chiswick Press, London.  Inscribed to head of half-title: "To J. Anderson Rose Esq with friendly regards, D.G. Rossetti. Xmas /61"; also w/Rose's armorial bookplate to fr. pastedown.  Binding Very Good (extremities sl. bumped, ¼" puncture to spine obscuring the 2nd "s" in "Rossetti," & hinges starting); contents Near-Fine--overall one of the nicest copies we've seen.  Slater 2, Rossetti 9, Vaughan 11, Ashley IV 113-14 (in black cloth), Ehrsam & Deily 219, Fredeman 23.3, Fennell 19, Ball 159, Colbeck 4, Woodman D.1.  (Inv. #1158)  C$3,000

    The book was published on 26 December 1861, making this a pre-publication presentation copy (another copy dated Xmas 1861 was presented by Rossetti to Thomas Keightley, a friend of the Rossetti family).  For a comprehensive history of this book's preparation & publication, see the Rossetti Archive website.

* Rossetti's 1st known reference to Rose (1819-1890) is an early Feb. 1861 letter to Ford Madox Brown--it seems likely that he had been introduced to Rossetti by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Rose at the time serving as Whistler's solicitor.  He was "a collector and for a brief period one of Rossetti's patrons, oversaw the transfer of the lease of 16 Cheyne Walk, & represented Rossetti in his dealings with the [Thomas E.] Plint estate & in a number of legal suits brought by & against him.  He also drafted the articles of partnership, the indenture, & the Rules for The Firm" (Fredeman, Correspondence of DGR, 62.23n1), & continued to act on Rossetti's behalf until 1869.  Rossetti's numerous extant letters to Rose are divided between the New York Public Library & the Library of Congress.








The Bruce Presentation Copy

Front cover

Inscription
Rear cover





Rossetti, D[ante]. G[abriel]. (transl.), THE EARLY ITALIAN POETS FROM CIULLO D'ALCAMO TO DANTE ALIGHIERI: (1100-1200-1300) IN THE ORIGINAL METRES TOGETHER WITH DANTE'S VITA NUOVA (London: Smith Elder & Co., 1861).  First edition, 18 x 12cm (8vo), in publisher's dark olive vertical rib-grain cloth w/gilt design by the author to covers & spine, gilt title to spine, a.e. untrimmed, [i-vi] vii-xxxvi, [1] 2-464, [1-2 Errata & announcement of Rossetti's forthcoming Dante at Verona and Other Poems] pp.  Printed by Whittingham & Wilkins at the Chiswick Press, London.  Inscribed in ink to half-title: "To Mrs William Bruce with kind regards- D.G. Rossetti 1864," below which "A.M. Bruce 1866" & "A.H. Martin 78" are inscr. in pencil.  This is the issue in which p.352 is misnumbered 252--see Colbeck 3 & 4.  Binding Very Good (expertly rebacked in black diaper-grain cloth w/most of the original spine laid down & new terracotta ep.s, & moderate rubbing to cloth); contents Very Good (sl. creasing to a few leaves, & lt. marginal tidemarks to pp.131-160, 193-206 & 290-300).  Slater 2, Rossetti 9, Vaughan 11, Ashley IV 113-14 (in black cloth), Ehrsam & Deily 219, Fredeman 23.3, Fennell 19, Ball 159, Colbeck 4, Woodman D.1.  (Inv. #661)  C$2,500

Provenance: Gifted by the author in 1864 to Mrs. William Bruce; thence in 1866 to her daughter Anna Mary Bruce (b.1846); A.H. Martin by 1878.
    The original recipient, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth née Conybeare Bruce (ca.1818-1866), was the daughter of the Dean of Llandaff & the wife of Canon William Bruce, who in 1869 approved Rossetti's request to retouch his Llandaff Cathedral reredos (see DGR as Designer & Writer 1889, p.67); she was also the sister-in-law of Sir Henry Austin Bruce, a friend of Rossetti's since 1856.  In 1862, in a fit of profound remorse & sadness, Rossetti buried his manuscript poems, which were to be published as Dante at Verona and Other Poems, with his recently-deceased wife.  In Sept. 1869, after being convinced by a few friends that he should publish his lost poetry, Rossetti wrote to Sir Henry personally requesting his legal consent for Elizabeth Siddal Rossetti's exhumation in order to retrieve his manuscript notebook.  This remarkable copy, dedicated to Rossetti's wife & advertising his forthcoming but soon abandoned edition of poetry, was presented to the sister-in-law of the man whose later consent for the exhumation made such an edition (Poems 1870) possible.

    On 10 Oct. 1864 Rossetti wrote to Lady Ashburton: "May I beg your kind acceptance of my 'Early Italian Poets'.  I tried so much, in writing it, to reflect my originals faithfully, that I feel sure that much in the book will interest you by what belongs to its Italian authors.  I have marked the Index according to some predilections of my own" (MS: Nat'l Library of Scotland).  Regrettably, Rossetti made no such marks in the Index of our copy.



Binding
Rear cover
Rossetti, D[ante]. G[abriel]. (transl.), THE EARLY ITALIAN POETS FROM CIULLO D'ALCAMO TO DANTE ALIGHIERI: (1100-1200-1300) IN THE ORIGINAL METRES TOGETHER WITH DANTE'S VITA NUOVA (London: Smith Elder & Co., 1861).  First edition, 18 x 12cm (8vo), publisher's brown vertically-ribbed cloth w/gilt design by Rossetti to covers & spine, gilt title to spine, a.e. untrimmed, chocolate ep.s, [i-vi] vii-xxxvi, [1] 2-463 [464] pp. +Errata leaf listing 5 corrections & announcement of Rossetti's forthcoming Dante at Verona and Other Poems.  Printed by Whittingham & Wilkins at the Chiswick Press, London.  With the bookseller's ticket of H. & C. Treacher (Brighton) to fr. pastedown.  Binding Good (extremities bumped & rubbed, hinges cracked, & traces of prev. owner's bookplate removal to fr. pastedown); contents Near-Fine (occas. lt. thumbing).  Slater 2, Rossetti 9, Vaughan 11, Ashley IV 113-14 (in black cloth), Ehrsam & Deily 219, Fredeman 23.3, Fennell 19, Colbeck 4.  (Inv. #1316)  C$400





The Later Edition

Front cover
Rear cover
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel (ed. & transl.), DANTE AND HIS CIRCLE: WITH THE ITALIAN POETS PRECEDING HIM. (1100-1200-1300). A COLLECTION OF LYRICS, EDITED, AND TRANSLATED IN THE ORIGINAL METRES (London: Ellis & White, 1874).  First edition thus, 19 x 13cm (thick 8vo), in publisher's dark green linen w/gilt design by the author to covers & spine, gilt title to spine, a.e. untrimmed, 468 [xxiv] pp., +3pp. publ. adverts to rear.  Printed by John Strangeways, London.  With 14-line poem signed & dated "17th Feby 1876" by Andrea Rabagliati to fr. pastedown; also w/the sig. of Helen Bacchus & stamp of H.S. Vere-Hodge, both to recto of fr. ep.  This is the issue printed on thicker laid paper rather than on the thinner paper (see Colbeck).  Binding Good (extremities bumped & worn w/splits to head & edges of spine, boards sl. rubbed, & hinges cracked); contents Near-Fine.  Slater p.217, Rossetti 29, Vaughan 11, Ashley IV 114, Ehrsam & Deily 219, Fredeman p.92, Colbeck 21; see also Woodman D.1.  (Inv. #1111)  C$250




Front cover
Rear cover
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel (ed. & transl.), DANTE AND HIS CIRCLE: WITH THE ITALIAN POETS PRECEDING HIM. (1100-1200-1300). A COLLECTION OF LYRICS, EDITED, AND TRANSLATED IN THE ORIGINAL METRES (London: Ellis & White, 1874).  First edition thus, 19 x 13cm (thick 8vo), in publisher's dark green linen w/gilt design by the author to covers & spine, gilt title to spine, a.e. untrimmed, 468 [xxiv] pp., +3pp. publ. adverts to rear.  Printed by John Strangeways, London.  With the nameplate of C.S. Dodgson (a relative of Lewis Carroll?) to recto of fr. ep.  This is the issue printed on thicker laid paper rather than on the thinner paper (see Colbeck).  Binding Very Good (extremities sl. bumped & worn, a few marks to cloth, fr. hinge cracked, & ep.s a bit browned); contents Near-Fine.  Slater p.217, Rossetti 29, Vaughan 11, Ashley IV 114, Ehrsam & Deily 219, Fredeman p.92, Colbeck 21; see also Woodman D.1.  (Inv. #1223)  C$250



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