The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Vol. 2

The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Vol. 2

The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Vol. 2

The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Vol. 2

Synopsis

1855-1862: This nine-volume editionl represents the definitive collection of extant Rossetti correspondence, an outstanding primary witness to the range of ideas and opinions that shaped Rossetti's art and poetry. The largest collection of Rossetti's letters ever to be published, it features all known surviving letters, a total of almost 5,800 to over 330 recipients, and includes 2,000 previously unpublished letters by Rossetti and selected letters to him. In addition to this, about 100 drawings taken from within letter texts are also reproduced. In its entirety the collection will give an invaluable and unparalleled insight into Rossetti's character and art, and will form a rich resource for students and scholars studying all aspects of his life and work. The correspondence has been transcribed from collections in sixty-four manuscript repositories, containing Rossetti's letters to his companions in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Hunt and Stephens; friends such as Boyce and Bell Scott; his early patrons, Ellen Heaton and James Leathart; and his publisher friend, Alexander Macmillan. An additional twenty-two printed sources have also been accessed. Index; extensive annotations. WILLIAM E. FREDEMAN (1928-1999) was professor of English at the University of British Columbia from 1956-1991. His many books, articles and reviews on the Pre-Raphaelites and their followers include his important Pre-Raphaelitism: A Bibliocritical Study. He died in 1999 with this edition almost completed; LEONARD ROBERTS is an art historian and author of Arthur Hughes: His Life and Works.

Excerpt

Literary: There are no literary entries in dgrdw for 1855. Apart from the single sonnet, “A Dark Day” (hl 68), sent to wa, whh, and wbs, no other poem by dgr is mentioned in this year’s letters. in Works, wmr places two further poems in 1855: “Beauty and the Bird” published in Poems, and “Dawn on the Night-journey,” first printed in cw.

Artistic: a highly productive year for which Surtees lists ten important watercolours, of which the whereabouts of four – The Annunciation, the Nativity, Dante’s Vision of Matilda Gathering Flowers, and The Carol (S.69, 71–2, 79) – are unknown. With Arthur’s Tomb (dated 1854, but as Surtees argues [S.73] almost certainly belonging to 1855), dgr launched the half-dozen gem-like Arthurian watercolours, the centrepiece of his early career. the influence of Malorian medievalism on dgr in turn influenced wm and culminated in the post-PRB aesthetic revival that spanned the next three years and included The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine (1856), to which dgr contributed; the illustrations for the Moxon Tennyson and the mural decorations for the Oxford Union (both in 1857); and WM’s The Defence of Guenevere (1858). Other than Arthurian, the subjects of the 1855 pictures are taken from three major sources: the Bible – Ruth and Boaz (S.70), The Passover in the Holy Family (S.78), and the two works cited above; Keats – La Belle Dame Sans Merci (S.76); and Dante – Dante’s Vision of Rachel and Leah (S.74), Paolo and Francesca da Rimini (S.75), and the Vision of Matilda, already mentioned. Beyond the major watercolours, dgr also made portraits of rb, Louisa Jane Parke, Alfred C. Lyster, and the famous drawing of Tennyson Reading “Maud.” Arguably his finest illustration, The Maids of Elfen-Mere, was engraved for WA’s The Music Master (see Plate 10b). This year also marks the commencement of Ruskin’s patronage. the previous . . .

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