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ROSSETTI, Dante Gabriel.

Dante and his Circle....

With the Italian poets preceding him (1100-1200-1300). A collection of lyrics, edited, and translated in the original metres.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Ellis and White, 1874

Stock Code: 132573

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition thus, revised and expanded from The Early Italian Poets (1861), presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the title page, "To Moncure D. Conway from his friend DG Rossetti, 1875". A significant association: Conway (1832-1907) was an American reformer, prominent Unitarian minister, and author who left America for England during the Civil War; "with his family divided, his boyhood haunts the scenes of savage fighting, and nationwide emancipation not fully achieved, Conway determined to leave the country. He did so in April 1863 on the pretext of making a speaking tour in England. Shortly thereafter, he sent for his family. He would live in London for the next twenty-two years" (American National Biography). In London he became a close friend of Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites, and owned various examples of their artwork. In his autobiography, Conway left a memorable sketch of the poet, "the genius of Dante Rossetti expressed itself in every least line of his countenance. It was as smooth in every part as if carved, but lights and shades passed over it, and sometimes shifting colours; the eyes now drooped, now expanded" (Autobiography: Memories and Experiences of Moncure Daniel Conway, Cambridge University Press 2012, II p. 117). He was also instrumental in arranging for the first English edition of Walt Whitman's poetry. This expanded version of The Early Italian Poets was the culmination of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's great endeavour to translate the works of his Italian namesake.
This copy has a distinguished later provenance also, with the bookplate to the front pastedown of John Quinn; a great collector of modern literature, Quinn sold his library at auction in 1923-4, with the present book recorded in the sale (number 8158), joining other items including the manuscript of Joyce's Ulysses and extensive manuscripts by Conrad. Found inside the box also is the bookplate of Mark Samuel Lasner (b. 1952), a leading authority on the literature and art of the pre-Raphaelites and the 1890s.

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Octavo. Original green cloth, spine lettered in gilt, spine and covers ruled in blind, brown endpapers. Housed in a custom green cloth box, spine lettered in gilt.


Wear to spine ends, light marking to cloth, hinge splitting but sound. A very good, bright copy.


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