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Dante Gabriel Rossetti's The house of life and the biographical imperative Cummings, Denise Louise 1963

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DAME GABRIEL ROSSETTI'S THE HOUSE OP LIFE AND THE BIOGRAPHICAL IMPERATIVE *y DENISE LOUISE CUMMINGS 33.A. (Honors), U n i v e r s i t y of Alberta, 1 9 5 8 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL PULEILMENT OP THE. REQUIREMENTS POR THE DEGREE OP MASTER OP ARTS i n the Department of E n g l i s h We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OP BRITISH COLUMBIA June, 1 9 6 3 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agr.ee t h a t p e r -m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g of t h i s t h e s i s f o r . - s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r anted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying i or p u b l i -c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,. Vancouver 8, Canada. Date /76 5. i i ABSTRACT The purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s to determine the importance of biographical inreading to a study of Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i ' s The House of L i f e . Although most of R o s s e t t i ' s c r i t i c s have predicated a biographical imperative i n examining t h i s work, the v a l i d i t y of t h e i r approach can be s e r i o u s l y questioned. The tendency to employ biographical c r i t i c i s m perhaps stems from an ex-cessive concern on the part of both biographers and c r i t i c s with the sensational d e t a i l s of R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e . Because of t h i s concern, The House of L i f e has been treated more as an autobiographical record than, as an i n t e g r a l work of a r t . I t i s necessary to re-examine the poem through some approach other than the biographical. Chapter One out l i n e s three standard approaches to the study of l i t e r a t u r e . The f i r s t , the h i s t o r i c a l or ex-t r i n s i c , includes the study of the poet's biography as i i i w e l l as the various external influences on him. The second, the organic or i n t r i n s i c , concentrates on i n t e r n a l aspects of the l i t e r a t u r e , such as imagery and form. The t h i r d , the synthetic, i s a more f l u i d approach than the other two i n that i t attempts to employ a l l a v a i l a b l e t o o l s of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , i n c l u d i n g biography. Chapter Two reviews c e r t a i n pertinent f a c t s about Ro s s e t t i ' s l i f e and considers a number of biographies and biographical studies which have appeared since h i s death, and which, to a considerable extent, have created an i n -accurate legend about him. Chapter Three considers the s p e c i f i c problem of biographi-c a l inreading i n The House of L i f e , and discusses some of the c r i t i c i s m based on that inreading. I t also traces the general development of The House of L i f e from the two e s s e n t i a l l y b iographical preliminary versions (the F o r t -n i g h t l y Review sonnets, and the Kelmscott sonnets) to the complete versi o n of 1881. Chapter Four examines The House of L i f e as a work of a r t rather than as a biogra p h i c a l document. A reading of the poem i s suggested i n which The House of L i f e i s seen as a s e r i e s of cycles depicting the "transfigured" l i f e of the poet. An exegetical analysis of The House of L i f e n e c e s s a r i l y i v involves the c r i t i c i n an examination of biographical data. However, once the development of the sequence has been traced, the c r i t i c must employ i n t r i n s i c c r i t e r i a i n order to determine the e s s e n t i a l structure of the poem. In other words, the best approach to The House of L i f e syn-thesizes both the e x t r i n s i c and i n t r i n s i c methods of c r i t i c i s m . I V TABLE OP CONTENTS Page Chapter One: The R e l a t i o n of Biography and L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m , , , 1 Chapter Two: The "Scandal-Mongering Chapter Three: The Biographical Imperative 49 Chapter Pour: The Cycles of The House of L i f e : A Tentative Reading. 83 C OIXCITJLS XOXI * -v -» 3 « * • » ! •*«*•§•*» '>•••»* *•»•«'»••• '•• 100 Appendix. 104 Bibliography. 117 ACKNO ?/LEDGMENT I am grea t l y indebted to Dr. W. E, Eredeman f o r the generous and invaluable assistance he has given me i n the preparation of t h i s t h e s i s . I would also l i k e to thank Dr. William Robbins and Dr. J . P. Hulcoop f o r t h e i r advice and h e l p f u l c r i t i c i s m . CHAPTER ONE THE RELATIONSHIP OP BIOGRAPHY AND LITERARY CRITICISM On a siimmer afternoon, three l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s taking a s t r o l l encounter an e s p e c i a l l y admirable chestnut tree and pause to examine i t i n d e t a i l . The f i r s t c r i t i c exclaims, " t e l arbre, t e l f r u i t , " and proceeds to point out to h i s com-panions the obvious s i m i l a r i t i e s between the blossom and i t s parent. The second c r i t i c remarks that the blossom i s more than a mere extension of i t s mother and must be examined f o r i t s own merits. The t h i r d c r i t i c , moved to poetry by the "great rooted blossomer," c r i e s , "Are you the l e a f , the blossom or the bole?" and steps back to get a b e t t e r look at the en-t i r e tree, Ultimately, the three part, each convinced that the other two know very l i t t l e about the nature of trees. Of course, the three c r i t i c s i n the anecdote are discussing, not chestnut trees, but l i t e r a t u r e , s p e c i f i c a l l y the r e l a t i o n s h i p between biography and l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . The f i r s t , Charles Augustin Sainte--Beuve, unreservedly advocates a biographical approach 1 2 to l i t e r a t u r e : La l i t t e r a t u r e , l a production l i t t e r a i r e , n'est point pour moi d i s t i n c t e ou du moins separable du reste de l'homme et de 1'organisation; je puis gofrber une oeuvre,-mais i l m'est d i f f i c i l e de l a juger independamment de-la connaissance de l'homme m§me; et je d i r a i s v o l o n t i e r s : t e l arbre, t e l f r u i t , L'etude l i t t e r a t a i r e me mene 1 a i n s i tout naturellement. a 1'etude morale. The second c r i t i c , T.S. E l i o t , does not favour a biograph i c a l approach, Acknowledging the obvious connec-t i o n between a work of a r t and i t s creator, he denies that the p e r s o n a l i t y of the creator i s n e c e s s a r i l y imbedded i n that work, In f a c t , says E l i o t , "the progress of an a r t i s t i s a continual s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , a continual e x t i n c -t i o n of per s o n a l i t y . " The process of cr e a t i o n being "not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion... not the expression of personality, but the escape from 2 p e r s o n a l i t y , " biographical c r i t i c i s m w i l l lead the c r i t i c not' toward but away from an i l l u m i n a t i o n of l i t e r a t u r e . The t h i r d c r i t i c , quoting from W.B. Yeats' "Among School Children," i s Cleanth Brooks. Our staple study of l i t e r a t u r e consist's i n i n v e s t i g a t i o n s of the root system (the study of l i t e r a r y sources) or i n s n i f f i n g the blossoms (impressionism) o r — n o t to neglect Yeats' a l t e r n a t i v e s y m b o l — i n ques-t i o n i n g the quondam dancer, no longer a dancer, about her l i f e h i s t o r y (the study of the poet's biography). 3 There are many v a l i d approaches to the study of l i t e r a t u r e , says Brooks, hut they are v a l i d only i f used j u d i c i o u s l y , I want to use the metaphor f a i r l y : i t i s e n t i r e l y legitimate to inquire into the dancer's h i s t o r y , and such an i n q u i r y i s c e r t a i n l y i n t e r e s t i n g f o r i t s own sake, and may he of value f o r our understanding of the dance. But v/e cannot question her as a dancer without stopping the dance or waiting u n t i l the dance has been completed, Andin as f a r as our i n t e r e s t i s i n poetry, the dance must be primary f o r us. We cannot a f f o r d to neglect i t ; no amount of notes on the personal h i s t o r y of the dancer w i l l prove to be a substitute f o r i t ; and even our knowledge of the dancer a.ua dancer w i l l depend i n some measure upon I t : How else can we know her? "How can we know the dancer from the dance?"3 Each of these three approaches to l i t e r a t u r e , the biographical, the organic or i n t r i n s i c , and the synthetic, i s used by twentieth century c r i t i c s . Of the three, the bio g r a p h i c a l can claim, i f not the longest, c e r t a i n l y the most complex h i s t o r y . I t s most obvious ancestors seem to be the biography, which by the eighteenth century had be-come an established l i t e r a r y form,^ and the h i s t o r i c a l method of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , i t s e l f a multi-branched d i s c i p l i n e whose roots can be traced to c l a s s i c a l times. The two pursuits u l t i m a t e l y merged, f o r example, i n the c r i t i c a l biographies of Samuel Johnson whose Lives of the  Poets constitutes a serious attempt to r e l a t e biography 4 to l i t e r a t u r e , to see i n the l i f e of the poet a "cause" of the work of a r t . The p r i n c i p l e s of Romanticism, the grow-ing concern f o r i n d i v i d u a l genius and personality, provided not only impetus but j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the b i o g r a p h i c a l method since the Romantic poet was i n c l i n e d and encouraged to use personal experience and emotion as h i s creative i n s p i r a t i o n . By the nineteenth century, i n which the biographical method enjoyed i t s greatest popu-l a r i t y , i t became necessary to d i s t i n g u i s h , as Robert Browning does i n h i s Essay on Shelley, the objective poet, "one whose endeavour has been to reproduce things external," from the subjective poet, the "seer", who concerns himself with "not what man sees, but what God sees," and who con-s u l t s h i s own soul as "the nearest r e f l e x of that absolute mind.... Readers of h i s poetry must be readers of h i s biography also." A d i s t i n c t i o n was also made between those l i t e r a r y f i g u r e s f o r whom there existed l i t t l e b i o -g r a p h i c a l data, and those more self-conscious (or posterity-conscious) a r t i s t s who l e f t behind d i a r i e s , or 7 f r a n k l y autobiographical poems or records. With the p u b l i c a t i o n of Sigmund Freud's The Interpre- t a t i o n of Breams i n 1900, and the subsequent incorporation i n t o l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m of psychological and psychoanalytic p r i n c i p l e s , the biographical approach gained new impetus 5 and advocates i n the twentieth century. The Freudian con-cept of l i t e r a t u r e as w i s h - f u l f i l l m e n t (echoing G-oethe's idea of l i t e r a t u r e as a means of confession) and F r i e d r i c h Nietzsche's theory of l i t e r a t u r e as unconscious autobio-graphy have l e d to an i n t e r e s t i n not only the external o l i f e of the a r t i s t but h i s mental and emotional makeup. The trend has been from the s o c i a l biography to the "inner" biography,^ a pursuit which, i n opening new v i s t a s f o r the c r i t i c , has at the same time begun to plague him with new problems and p i t f a l l s . The question of frankness—when to divulge or withhold information about an author's personal l i f e ; how to know "when personal information stops being relevant and becomes simply prying into the private l i f e of the author,"—Stanley Edgar Hyman, at l e a s t , sees as one of the major problems now confronting the biographical c r i t i c , (p. 1 2 0 ) What seem to be extremely p r i v a t e d e t a i l s of a writer's l i f e — s e x u a l abnormalities, f o r example—may have had an important influence on h i s work; a knowledge of these d e t a i l s w i l l then be of considerable i n t e r e s t to the c r i t i c . Hyman's conclusion that the r e a l value of psychoanaly-t i c c r i t i c i s m l i e s i n i t s a p p l i c a t i o n to the l i t e r a t u r e rather than to the a r t i s t might well be applied to biogr a p h i c a l c r i t i c i s m i n general, (p. 1 5 7 ) The.dual 6 parentage of biographical c r i t i c i s m , on the one hand l i t e r a r y biography, on the other h i s t o r i c a l c r i t i c i s m , has l e d i n turn to a dichotomy of i n t e r e s t s . For the biographer, the path leads from the l i t e r a t u r e to an a n a l y s i s of the.man; f o r the c r i t i c , a study of the man i s , or should be, only a means of gaining i n s i g h t into the l i t e r a t u r e . Rene Wellek and Austin Warren see biography leading i n three possible d i r e c t i o n s : to a study of l i t e r a -ture, of a man, or, through psychology, to a "study of the psychology of the poet and of the poetic process." For our conception of " l i t e r a r y scholar-ship" only the f i r s t t h e s i s , that biography explains and ill u m i n a t e s the actual product of poetry, i s d i r e c t l y relevant. The second point of view, which advocates the i n t r i n s i c i n t e r e s t of biography, s h i f t s the center of a t t e n t i o n to human per s o n a l i t y . The t h i r d considers biography as material f o r a science or future science, the psychology of a r t i s t i c creation, (p. 6 7 ) The confusion of these avenues of biographical study has l e d to some curious d i s t o r t i o n s of both the writer and h i s work, among which are several biographies of the Brontes pieced together from incidents i n t h e i r novels; Georg Brandes' study of Shakespeare, i n which h i s work i s judged t y p i c a l or a t y p i c a l of a personality which Brandes has created from the plays; and Joseph Wood Krutch's psychoanalytic biography of Edgar A l l a n Poe which concludes 7 confidently, "we have, then, traced Poe's art to an ab-normal condition of the nerves,""**^ The attractiveness of the biographical approach, both as a comparatively simple means of studying l i t e r a -ture and as an excuse for dissecting another human being, tends to obscure i t s basic weaknesses. One weakness i s the assumption (what Wellek and Warren c a l l the "biographical fallacy") that an a r t i s t either self-con-sciously or unconsciously pours his personality into his art; but this assumption may be v a l i d with regard to only a portion of his canon—or, indeed, i t may not be v a l i d at a l l . One of the major problems facing the biographical c r i t i c concerns the deceptively simple decision as to whether or not an a r t i s t can or should be studied biographi-cally. Perhaps, as Wellek and Warren suggest, the a r t i s t presents an anti-self to the reader, (p. 72) Probably, i f he does draw upon his experience and unless he i s con-sciously writing a "confession" or an autobiographical record, he w i l l remold as well as recollect i n t r a n q u i l l i t y . Even when a work of art contains elements which can be surely identified as biographical, these elements w i l l be so rearranged and trans-formed i n a work that they lose a l l their s p e c i f i c a l l y personal meaning and become simply concrete human material, integral elements of a work. (Wellek and Warren, pp. 71-72) 8 Some c r i t i c s have expressed an increasing di s s a t i s -faction with the biographical approach and with extrinsic c r i t i c i s m ^ i n general. Wellek and Warren's statement that "the whole view that art i s self-expression pure and simple, the transcript of personal feelings and experiences, i s demonstrably false," provides a typical i l l u s t r a t i o n of this trend, (p. 72) The "impersonal" conception of art, emphasized by T.S. E l i o t i n "Tradition and the Individual Talent,",developed into the theory that a work of art, far from being a mere extension of the writer's personality, had a l i f e of i t s own, We can only say that a poem, i n some sense, has i t s own l i f e ; that i t s parts form something quite different from a body of neatly ordered biographical data;.that the feeling, or emotion, or vision, resulting from the poem i s something different•from the feeling or emotion or vision i n the mind of the poet.13 R.P. Blackmur, expanding on Eliot's-idea, concludes that " c r i t i c i s m must deal centrally with literature as l i t e r a t u r e , " " ^ a process which Wellek and Warren c a l l " i n t r i n s i c " c r i t i c i s m i n that i t turns i t s attention inward to an analysis of euphony, rhythm, meter, style, genre, and the comparison of the work with i t s l i t e r a r y predecessors. A concentrated effort has been made to re-evaluate i n t r i n -s i c a l l y l i t e r a r y works previously treated biographically; 9 •the results have "been both amusing and significant. Prank H. E l l i s , for example, has used the tools of the biographical c r i t i c to show that Gray's "Elegy written i n a Country Churchyard" should not be interpreted biographi-cal l y . In i l l u s t r a t i n g how the poem developed from personal to impersonal expression, he i n fact has dealt with the "causes" of the poem and the biography of the poet. Similarly, Carlos Baker has used biographical - e v i -dence to refute Newman I. White's interpretation of 17 Shelley's "Julian and Maddalo". It would seem that the biographical approach, however satisfactory i t may appear, i s d i f f i c u l t to avoid even by c r i t i c s attempting to replace i t . Particularly i n the twentieth century, whose chief . characteristic i n l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m seems to be variety, the question might well be raised as to whether or not any-one c r i t i c a l approach should replace another except, per-haps, i n a particular instance. Even a cursory examination of modern c r i t i c a l trends w i l l i l l u s t r a t e the. many new directions c r i t i c s have taken. Whether these are opposed as two general groups, extrinsic and i n t r i n s i c , or dealt with under such headings as tradition, biography, psychology, 1 8 Marxism, and evaluation, i s less important than the immediate problem of which approach i s v a l i d i n a given 10 instance. Walter Jackson Bate suggests that "the most challenging task now awaiting c r i t i c a l theory i s perhaps one of synthesis rather than further particularized 1°; investigation." ^ Hyman places the responsibility of choice directly upon the shoulders of the individual c r i t i c : No method, however ingenious, i s foolprod'f, and almost every technique of modern criti c i s m i s used b r i l l i a n t l y by b r i l l i a n t c r i t i c s and poorly by stupid, ignorant, incompetent, or dull ones. On the other hand, a good man possessed of the c r i t i c ' s virtues may operate well or b r i l l i a n t l y , today as at any time, with no method but the application of his own i n t e l l i -gence and sensibility, (p. 8) To return to Cleanth Brooks' metaphorical representation of the c r i t i c a l process, as long as the c r i t i c bears i n mind that his purpose i s to interpret the dance, he i s free to gather any material, including the biography of the dancer, which w i l l achieve that purpose. If, i n pursuing this c r i t i c a l purpose, the c r i t i c manages to use biography while avoiding the "biographical fall a c y , " he may encounter yet another weakness i n the biographical method—although, i n this case, the weakness may be more attributable to the c r i t i c . A l l too f r e -quently^ what begins as biographical c r i t i c i s m degenerates into an u n c r i t i c a l preoccupation with the l i f e of the a r t i s t . The c r i t i c , caught in a web of fact and 11 speculation, may ultimately forego both his objectivity and his purpose. Pre-Raphaelite criticism provides an ex-cellent example of this phenomenon. Howard Mumford Jones, surveying this f i e l d of study, observes that some of the blame for poor scholarship—or, indeed, the lack of scholar-s h i p — l i e s with the extremely self-conscious subjects themselves. The dramatic instinct that led Prances Winwar to write Poor Splendid Wings (1933) may be sounder than the scholar's analysis inasmuch as the clash of personalities i n the c i r c l e (or circles) i s at least as crucial as aesthetic theory. However you group them, these a r t i s t s were Immensely conscious of themselves, immensely aware of human individualities. Not since Byron had the individual gesture seemed so important, not since the Keats c i r c l e had there been such an immense savoring of personalities.... On the base of this Olympian self-conscious-ness, affection and piety have been raised one of the most remarkable biographical and autobiographical collections of the 19th. century.20 The devastating result of this extreme self-consciousness has been that the Pre-Raphaelites "exist i n the minds of general readers as personalities rather than a r t i s t s . , . . One of the present embarrassments of.scholarship i s that we know too much about the poets and not enough about the poetry." (Jones, pp. 179, 183) Paced with this cult of personality, fostered by the Pre-Raphaelites and sustained 12 by the public, the c r i t i c , obliged to employ biography i f only to deny i t s usefulness, runs the r i s k of succumbing to the cult or of becoming hopelessly involved i n the mass of biographical fact and f i c t i o n , a morass from which he may never emerge. To avoid biographical criticism be-comes not only inadvisable but v i r t u a l l y impossible. As Jones observes, "we know too much about [the Pre-Raphae-l i t e s ] to forget the human being and to concentrate on the art; and the distaste and adulation they aroused equally invite explanation and correction." (p. 179) This cult of personality surrounding the Pre-Raphae-l i t e s has centred i t s attention primarily upon the acknowledged leader of the group, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who, since his death in 1882, has inspired a seemingly endless stream of biographical studies ranging i n kind from the s t r i c t l y anecdotal to psychological and c r i t i c a l examinations such as Oswald Doughty's A Victorian Romantic: 21 ' Dante Gabriel Rossetti. During the course of these bio-graphical investigations, almost every conceivable facet of Rossetti's private and public l i f e has been probed and dis-cussed i n the name of science or art. His work, i f examined at a l l , has been considered l i t t l e more than a personal diary. Individual poems, and especially The House of Lif e , have served as sources of information about his love a f f a i r s and his emotional and physical condition, but they 1 3 have been largely ignored as literature. Such c r i t i c a l studies as exist seem primarily concerned with indicating to what extent Rossetti drew upon his personal experience i n writing poetry. Jones assesses the situation with ironic accuracy: Researches into the number and nature of Rossetti's models and mistresses undoubtedly throw some l i g h t on the meaning of The House  of L i f e , but i f we knew as l i t t l e about the personal l i f e of i t s author as we know about the personal l i f e of Shakespeare, The House  of L i f e would s t i l l remain a great, a beauti-f u l , and an enigmatic work of art....What the further study of Rossetti needs i s a closer analysis of his poetry i n terms that the work of I.A. Richards and others has made familiar, (pp. 1 8 3 , 1 8 8 ) Rossetti, then i s a poet for whom the biographical approach has proved inadequate, and who must be examined by some other method, In the following chapters, an attempt w i l l be made to establish this method, by an assessment of the biographical and c r i t i c a l studies made on Rossetti, and by an examination of The House of L i f e . 14 FOOTNOTES 1 . N o u v e a u x L u n d i s ( P a r i s : C a l m a n n - L e v y , 1 8 6 5 ) , I I I , p . 1 5 . 2 . " T r a d i t i o n a n d t h e I n d i v i d u a l T a l e n t , " The S a c r e d Wood:; E s s a y s o n P o e t r y a n d C r i t i c i s m ( L o n d o n : M e t h u e n , 1 9 5 0 ) , p p . 5 3 , 5 8 . S t a n l e y E d g a r Hymah i n The Armed V i s i o n (New Y o r k : K n o p f , 1 9 5 2 ) , comments o n t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n E l i o t ' s c r i t i c i s m a s " a t r i c k he l e a r n e d f r o m P o u n d o f p r o p o s i n g t h e o r i e s he d o e s n ' t b e l i e v e , j u s t t o h e a r t h e r o a r . " ( p . 7 7 ) H o w e v e r , h i s v i e w s o n t h e i m p e r -s o n a l i t y o f a r t seem t o be b a s i c t o h i s c r i t i c i s m . F o r t h e p u r p o s e o f t h i s t h e s i s , t h e p o s i t i o n s e x p r e s s e d b y t h e s e c r i t i c s a r e b e i n g e m p h a s i z e d ; w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e s t a t e m e n t s a r e t y p i c a l o f o r b a s i c t o t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l c r i t i c a l d o c t r i n e s , i s i r r e * l . e , v a n t . 3 . The W e l l - W r o u g h t U r n : S t u d i e s i n t h e S t r u c t u r e o f P o e t r y (New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , A H a r v e s t B o o k , 1 9 4 7 ) , p . 1 9 1 . 4 . I z a a k W a l t o n ' s L i v e s , w r i t t e n b e t w e e n 1 6 4 0 a n d 1 6 7 8 i s p e r h a p s a w o r t h y a n c e s t o r , among o t h e r s , a l t h o u g h t h e m a j o r p o p u l a r i z e r s were S a m u e l J o h n s o n a n d James B o s w e l l . 5 . F o r a s u r v e y o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l m e t h o d s e e : W i l l i a m K , W i m s a t t J r . , a n d C l e a n t h B r o o k s , L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m : A  S h o r t H i s t o r y (New Y o r k : K n o p f , 1 9 5 9 ) , e s p e c i a l l y C h a p t . 2 4 , pp. 5 2 2 - 5 5 4 . 6 . P e a c o c k ' s F o u r A g e s o f P o e t r y , S h e l l e y ' s D e f e n c e o f  P o e t r y , B r o w n i n g ' s E s s a y o n S h e l l e y , e d . H . F . B . S m i t h ( O x f o r d : B l a c k w e l l , 1 9 5 3 ) , p p . 6 3 , 6 5 , 6 6 . B r o w n i n g ' s e s s a y was f i r s t p u b l i s h e d by E d w a r d M o x o n i n 1 8 5 2 a s a n " I n t r o d u c t o r y E s s a y " t o a v o l u m e o f L e t t e r s o f P e r c y B y s s h e S h e l l e y w h i c h were s u b s e q u e n t l y f o u n d t o be f o r g e r i e s . 7 . R e n e W e l l e k a n d A u s t i n W a r r e n , i n T h e o r y o f L i t e r a t u r e (Hew Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , 1 9 4 9 ) c o n s i d e r t h i s g e n e r a l d i s t i n c t i o n ( p . 7 1 ) a n d a l s o s u g g e s t t h a t t h e r e s t r i c -t i o n h a s n o t d a u n t e d t h e b i o g r a p h e r s , G e o r g B r a n d e s , W i l l i a m S h a k e s p e a r e , E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n (New Y o r k : M a c m i l l a n , 1 9 3 5 j ; F r a n k H a r r i s , The Man S h a k e s p e a r e a n d  h i s T r a g i c L i f e - S t o r y (New Y o r k : K e n n e r l e ^ r , 1 9 0 9 ) a r e 15 c i t e d among others as examples, I t i s d i f f i c u l t , however, to decide what are "fran k l y autobiographical poems," For example, Wordsworth's Prelude, generally considered to be autobiographical, has been shown to d i f f e r from Wordsworth's actual l i f e ; see George W.' Meyer, Wordsworth's Formative Years (Ann Arbor Mich, : U n i v e r s i t y of Michigan Press, 1 9 4 3 8 . See Hyman, Chapt, 6 , "Maud Bodkin and Psychological C r i t i c i s m , " pp. 1 4 2 - 1 6 7 ; Wellek and Warren, Chapt. 7, " L i t e r a t u r e and Psychology," pp. 75-78; and L e s l i e A. F i e d l e r , "Archetype and Signature: A Study of the Relationship between Biography and Poetry," Sewanee  Review, LX ( 1 9 5 2 ) , 253-273, which sees l i t e r a r y c r i t i -cism as the study of the "signature," or personal im-p r i n t of the a r t i s t on the "archetypes" or u n i v e r s a l patterns which form h i s raw material. 9. A trend popularized, as well, by the biographies of Lytton Strachey. 10. V i r g i n i a Moore, The L i f e and Eager Death of Emily Bronte (London: Rich and Cowan, 1936) ; E d i t h E. Kinsley, Patterns f o r Genius (New York: Dutton, 1949) ; Romer Wilson [Florence Roma Muir Wilson O'Brien], A l l Alone: The L i f e and Private History of Emily Jane Bronte (London: Chat to and Windus, 192b 1); Georg Brandes, William Shakespeare; Joseph Wood Krutch, Edgar A l l a n Poe: 1"  Study i n Genius (New York: Knopf, 1926;, p. 234. 11. The terms " e x t r i n s i c " and " i n t r i n s i c " are used by Wellek and Warren to d i s t i n g u i s h two basic methods of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . E x t r i n s i c c r i t i c i s m includes the study of biography, psychology, society, ideas, and l i t e r a t u r e compared to other a r t s . 12. As an example of how t h i s controversy occasionally degenerates into a quibble, see the p r o l i x but relevant d i s c u s s i o n of the word, "personal," and of the b i o -graphical problem i n general, i n C.S. Lewis, "The Per-sonal Heresy i n C r i t i c i s m , " Essays and Studies, XIX ( 1 9 3 3 ) , 7 -28; E.M.W. T i l l y a r d , "The Personal Heresy i n C r i t i c i s m : A Rejoinder," Essays and Studies, XX ( 1 9 3 4 ) , 7 - 2 0 ; C.S. Lewis, "Open L e t t e r to Dr. T i l l y a r d , " Essays, and Studies, XXI (1935), . 1 5 3 - 1 6 8 . 13. The Sacred' Wood ( 1 9 2 8 ) , Intro., x. 16 14. Quoted from Hyman, p. 246; see R.P. Blackmur, UT.S. E l i o t , " Hound and Horn, I (March 1 9 2 8 ) , 187 - 2 1 3 -15. The concern over the problem of biographical misread-ing i s evidenced by "The C r i t i c a l S i g n i f i c a n c e of Biographical Evidence," E n g l i s h I n s t i t u t e Essays (1946), a symposium i n which Douglas Bush discusses the si g n i f i c a n c e of biography to a study of Milton, Louis A, Landa discusses Swift, Carlos Baker discusses Shelley, and Marion Witt discusses Yeats, "Their p r i n c i p a l point of agreement," concludes G.E. Bentley, "seems to be that c r i t i c s of Milton, Swift, Shelley and Yeats have mis-used biographical evidence; that writers have turned 'biographical conjecture into biographical f a c t 1 ; that relevant biographical evidence has been ignored; that autobiographical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s have been over-done ," (Intro,, 4 ) , 16. "Gray's Elegy: The Biographical Problem i n L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m , " PMLA, LXVI ( 1 9 5 1 ) , 9 7 1 - 1 0 0 8 . E l l i s ' purpose, however, i s b a s i c a l l y sound: "what i s needed i s a view of poetry which sees i n Gray's Elegy neither an autobiographical document nor a l i t e r a r y exercise, but a ca l c u l a t e d r h e t o r i c a l s t r u c t u r e — c a l c u l a t e d , that i s , to produce c e r t a i n i n t e l l e c t u a l and emotional e f f e c t s on the reader," ( 1 0 0 8 ) . 1 7 . Carlos Baker, "Shelley's Ferrarese Maniac," E n g l i s h  I n s t i t u t e Essays ( 1 9 4 6 ) , pp. 41 - 7 3 . Newman I. White, "The Development, Use and Abuse of Int e r p r e t a t i o n i n Biography," E n g l i s h I n s t i t u t e Essays ( 1 9 4 2 ) , pp. 2 9 - 5 8 . 1 8 . Hyrnan's categories, 1 9 . C r i t i c i s m : The Major Texts, ed, Walter Jackson Bate (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1 9 5 2 ) , p. 2 7 3 . 2 0 . "The Pre-Raphaelites," i n The V i c t o r i a n Poets: A Guide  to Research, ed, Frederick E, Paverty (Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1956), p. 1 7 6 . The reference i s to Frances Winwar [Frances (Vinciguerra) Grebanier], Poor Splendid Wings: The Ros s e t t i s and Their C i r c l e (Boston: L i t t l e , Brown, 1 9 3 3 ) , a s e m i - f i c t i o n a l and sentimentalized account.of the Pre-Raphaelites. 21. (London: Muller, I960). CHAPTER TWO THE "SCANDAL-MOHGERING DEVILS." Rossetti's position as the leader of the Pre--Raphaelite Brotherhood and of i t s successor, the Oxford Brotherhood, and later, as the central figure i n biographical bacchanalia, i s perhaps less attributable to his poetic superiority than to the hypnotic spell of his personality. The P.R.B., organized i n I 8 4 8 by Rossetti and six other youthful colleagues,"^" constituted for some of the brethren (inspired by the crusading zeal of William Holman Hunt).a solemn pact, a pledge to assume moral res-ponsibility for the future of art in England, For Rossetti, the Brotherhood seems to have been l i t t l e more than a "lark." Yet i t was Rossetti who, convinced that anyone could be a poet, inspired the more prosaic members of the c i r c l e to write poetry for the f i r s t — a n d i n some cases, the l a s t — t i m e ; who encouraged the group to publish i t s own manifesto, the i l l - f a t e d Germ; and who, i n adopting 17 18 the word "stunner," created the only c r i t i c a l term i n the Pre-Raphaelite vocabulary. One such "stunner," Elizabeth Siddal, Rossetti's model-mistress, who, trans-formed into a ghostly medieval lady with long neck and 2 flowing gold hair, "looks out from a l l his canvasses," was to become almost the symbol of Pre-Raphaelite art. Almost i n spite of himself, and to the chagrin of Holman Hunt,^ Rossetti became the center of and the source of inspiration for this youthful coterie. This strange power of attraction Rossetti possessed i s even more clearly i l l u s t r a t e d in his association with Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. As undergraduates at Oxford, both Jones and Morris had developed an interest i n medievalism, poetry, and art. Upon meeting Rossetti i n 1856, Jones abandoned university to become Rossetti's adoring pupil-disciple, and Morris, having already embarked on a career as an architect, plunged enthusiastically into the production of both a r t i f a c t s and poetry. Valentine Prinsep, one of the reluctant participants in the "Jovial Campaign," a scheme instigated by Rossetti to paint murals on the walls of the Oxford Union Building in 1857, later recalled that Rossetti "was unlike anyone I ever met. He was an Italian of the fourteenth century who happened to reside i n London."^ Por Prinsep and the 19 other impressionable young a r t i s t s , Rossetti became "the sun round whom we revolved, and from whom we...borrowed what l i g h t we had." (p. 284) Gradually, as Prinsep matured, Rossetti's influence on him diminished. The forced atmosphere of the Rossetti world grew too restrained for my healthy lungs. Directly I began to think for my-self, I found Rossetti and his ideas were not natural to my views.,..He was a jealous friend. It was a l l i n a l l or nothing with him.,..(p. 285) Much of Rossetti's charm derived from his physical appearance and his musical voice, Prinsep's description of him, though not altogether flattering, does suggest that Rossetti possessed unusual and fascinating physical attributes. There was a strong likeness to [Shakespeare] save that the eyes were the eyes of an Italian, grave and dark with the bistre tinge around them which some great l a d y — I think Carlyle's Lady Ashburton—said "looked as i f they had-been put i n with dirty fingers." His mouth was large, and his l i p s had what the novelist would c a l l a sensuous appearance. His voice was singularly sweet and caressing, and he talked i n a kind of melodious chant, (p. 167) Sir Johnston Porbes-Robertson 1s description of Rossetti as he remembered him in 1870 i s more impressive: His face was pale, the colour of old ivory 20 a s i t w e r e , b u t i t g l o w e d u n d e r e x c i i t e m e n t . H i s f o r e h e a d w a s h i g h d o m e d a n d b r o a d , ' t h e b r o w n e y e s d e e p - s u n k , l a m b e n t a n d s a d , w i t h t h e s k i n a b o u t t h e m o f a m u c h d a r k e r t o n e t h a n t h e r e s t o f t h e f a c e . . . . T h e f a c e w a s v e r y h a n d s o m e , d e e p l y s t r i k i n g , w i t h i t s c a l m n o b i l i t y a n d i m p r e s s i v e n e s s — o n e o f t h o s e r a r e f a c e s , i n s h o r t , t h a t o n c e s e e n a r e n e v e r f o r g o t t e n . H i s v o i c e w a s r i c h a n d d e e p , s o f t t o e a r a s v e l v e t t o t h e t o u c h . . . h i s w h o l e a p p e a r a n c e e x p r e s s e d h i s p o w e r f u l p e r s o n a l i t y . 5 T h e r o m a n t i c a n d t r a g i c e v e n t s o f h i s l i f e , a s w e l l a s h i s f a s c i n a t i n g a p p e a r a n c e a n d h y p n o t i c p e r s o n a l i t y , s o o n d r e w R o s s e t t i i n t o t h e p u b l i c s p o t l i g h t . " T h e r e r e a l l y w a s a n e x t r a o r d i n a r y b u z z a b o u t h i s p e r s o n a l i t y d u r i n g t h e ' s e v e n t i e s a n d ' e i g h t i e s — a r o m a n t i c c l a m o r , " r e c a l l e d F o r d M a d o x H e u f f e r i n 1 9 1 1 . ^ O s w a l d D o u g h t y a t t r i b u t e s t h e r i s e o f t h i s " r o m a n t i c c l a m o r " p a r t l y t o R o s s e t t i ' s i n c r e a s i n g m e l a n c h o l y a n d r e c l u s i v e n e s s d u r i n g t h e 1 8 6 0 ' s : T h e m e n t a l a n d e m o t i o n a l s t r i f e h e v a i n l y t r i e d t o h i d e f r o m a l l w a s a l r e a d y w o r k i n g t o w a r d s h i s u l t i m a t e u n d o i n g . O f t h i s i n n e r w a s t e t h e w o r l d k n e w l i t t l e o r n o t h i n g y e t , b u t a l r e a d y , i n t u i t i v e l y , i t b e g a n t o s e n s e s o m e t h i n g s t r a n g e , u n c a n n y , a b o u t t h i s r e -m o t e , i n a c c e s s i b l e p a i n t e r s h u t u p i n h i s d a r k a n d s i l e n t h o u s e , a n d w i t h a n i n t r i g u i n g r e p u t a t i o n f o r w o n d e r f u l " p o e t i c " p i c t u r e s a n d p o e m s w h i c h f e w w e r e a l l o w e d t o s e e , f o r a s t r a n g e , u n h a p p y , r o m a n t i c p a s t , a s o l i t a r y , d a r k l y B o h e m i a n p r e s e n t , a n d a m i s a n t h r o p y , a c o n t e m p t f o r p u b l i c o p i n i o n s o g r e a t t h a t h e w o u l d c o n d e s c e n d t o s h o w n e i t h e r p i c t u r e s n o r p o e m s t o t h e w o r l d . A l r e a d y , i n h i s f i r s t 21 hour of triumph, the sinister hut useful legend of Tudor House was taking shape. (Doughty, p. 337) This legend, nurtured hy sensational events such as the untimely and mysterious death of Rossetti's wife i n 1862, and the exhumation of her body i n 1869 to recover Rossetti*s poems, has created special and almost insur-mountable problems for biographers and c r i t i c s of Rossetti. The bare facts of his l i f e are readily available, having been carefully recorded by his brother, William Michael, preserved i n correspondence, and recounted i n the memoirs and autobiographies of his acquaintances. But prompted by the suspicion that details of Rossetti*s l i f e have been suppressed by a scrupulous brother and considerate friends, biographers have turned instead for material to the less reliable but more fascinating legend. Since his death i n 1882, a number of biographies have appeared which claim to t e l l the "truth" about Rossetti; presumably, they w i l l con-tinue to appear as facts are sifted or unearthed, or as more or less imaginative biographers join i n the inves t i -gation. No attempt w i l l be made i n this thesis to add to the growing collection of biographies, although i t w i l l be necessary to emphasize certain events i n Rossetti's l i f e , since they form the core of many of the biographical and c r i t i c a l studies concerning him. 22 The relationship between Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal, and i t s importance to Rossetti's l i f e and art, has1-,prompted considerable biographical interest, It i s known that, soon after they met i n 1 8 5 0 , Miss Siddal be-came the exclusive model and pupil of Rossetti; that their courtship lasted ten years; that she was plagued with i l l -ness throughout their acquaintance; that they were married in i860; that she died from an overdose of laudanum i n 1862; and that some of Rossetti's poems were buried with her only to be exhumed i n 1 8 6 9 . Prom these facts, certain assumptions l o g i c a l l y follow: that, during the period of their acquaintance, Rossetti painted and sketched several pictures of his model-mistress-wife; that some of his poems were inspired by her; that there was some reason for their drawn-out engagement, and for their ultimate marriage; that her sudden and unusual death had some effect on her husband; and that Rossetti had some reason for burying, and lat e r for exhuming, his poems. At the point where facts and l o g i c a l assumptions end, the stories begin to conflict, and speculation becomes en-thusiastic. It i s conjectured that Miss Siddal was well--born, or that she was not; that the courtship dragged on because Rossetti was involved i n another love a f f a i r , or because Miss Siddal's i l l health made marriage unfeasible 23 for a time; that Rossetti married her because he loved her, or because he loved someone else; that Miss Siddal suffered from nervous distress, dyspepsia, pthisis, neuralgia, curvature of the spine, or tuberculosis; that, on.the night of her death, Rossetti was v i s i t i n g Fanny Cornforth, or that he was lecturing at the Workingmen's College; and that his wife's death was accidental, or that i t was not. Rossetti's other love a f f a i r s have also interested biographers and c r i t i c s . Fanny Cornforth, the crudely--mannered model for many of Rossetti's paintings, offers great scope for the speculator since l i t t l e i s known about her or her association with Rossetti. A complete contrast to Elizabeth Siddal, Miss Cornforth, "vulgar, v i t a l , primitive, the antithesis of the over-strained ideal of 'The Blessed Damozel!'j" (Doughty p. 253) has been described by biographers as the "serpent of Rossetti's Eden." But Paull Franklin Baum asserts that she was neither so maleficent nor so cunning nor so cold....She brought him the f i r s t en-chantment of "soft-shed kisses and soft sleep;" but i t was Lizzy who gave him, per-versely and too well, the sense of sin, because i t was she who made Fanny "wrong." Without her Fanny would have been a con- . ventional model-mistress,9 Of greater interest to biographers i n recent years has been the discovery of Rossetti's love a f f a i r with Jane 24 Morris. As recounted by Oswald Doughty, the a f f a i r began at Oxford during the "Jovial Campaign," when Mrs, Morris, then Jane Burden, was "discovered" by the Pre-Raphaelites and persuaded to model for them. Her marriage to William Morris, and Rossetti's marriage to Elizabeth Siddal, fore-stalled the romance u n t i l 1868 when i t was renewed, The face of Jane Morris soon replaced that of Elizabeth Siddal in Rossetti's paintings, and she provided the inspiration for a great outpouring of poetry by Rossetti between 1868 and 1873. As Doughty*s evidence indicates, she was also the cause of much of Rossetti's despondency, gui l t and i l l --health during the last f i f t e e n years of his l i f e . Rossetti's i l l - h e a l t h has provided a separate area of biographical interest and conjecture, In 1867, Rossetti's eyesight began to f a i l ; plagued by headaches, insomnia and fear of blindness, he sought r e l i e f and sleep i n alcohol. By 1869, he had resorted to chloral to allay his mental and physical distress, Weakened by his addiction to this drug, and tormented by doubts concerning both his poetic future 1^ and his love a f f a i r , Rossetti attempted suicide i n 1872 by taking an overdose of laudanum. The remainder of his l i f e was marked by recurring mental and physical disorders, among them a kidney disease which was the immediate cause of his death i n 1882. The symptoms Rossetti displayed 25 during these l a s t f i f t e e n years of his l i f e have been examined and interpreted by writers such as R.L. Megroz, who appended to his biography of Rossetti a detailed analysis of his ailments,"*"'" and Dr. Louis J, Bragman, who not only discusses to what extent Rossetti*s mental and physical disorders were a result of his chloral addiction, but who also suggests that Rossetti 1s l i f e and art indicate a frustrated sexuality. Bragman concludes that Rossetti was quite mad."*"^  This diversity of studies on Rossetti indicates the wide interest he has inspired i n the f i e l d s of both medicine and art. Since his death, at least a dozen f u l l - s c a l e biographies and many shorter biographical studies have appeared, a brief survey of which w i l l i l l u s t r a t e how the "facts" of Rossetti*s l i f e have been interpreted, augmented, and distorted. Ironically, the man Rossetti selected to write his o f f i c i a l biography, and thereby stave off the scandal-mongers, never did so, Theodore Watts-Dunton, awaiting the propitious moment to t e l l the story of a man whose intimate friends were s t i l l alive, remained s i l e n t , " ^ while other, less sensitive biographers undertook the task immediately upon Rossetti's death. The f i r s t biographical account to appear was Thomas Hall Caine's Recollections of Dante 26 Gabriel Rossetti, 14 Published i n 1882, i t consists mainly of an account of Caine's friendship with Rossetti during the l a s t three years of the poet's l i f e , together with ex-cerpts and paraphrases from correspondence between the two, mainly about literature, Silenced by a stricture similar to that which prevented Watts-Dunton from speaking out, Caine refrains from presenting more than a superficial summary of Rossetti's personal l i f e , of which he undoubtedly had some knowledge, He notes i n his Preface, I am sensible of the d i f f i c u l t y and delicacy of the task I have undertaken, involving, as i t does, many interests and issues; and i n every reference io surviving relatives as well as to other persons now l i v i n g , with whom Rossetti was in any way a l l i e d , I have exercised i n a l l friendliness the best judgment at my command, (ix) Faithful to his vow of propriety, Caine dispatches the Rossetti-Siddal a f f a i r in two pages, and his account of Mrs. Rossetti's death i s a masterpiece of brevity: i t was found that Mrs, Rossetti had taken an overdose of her accustomed sleeping potion Extra-marital relationships are not even hinted at, and Rossetti's struggle with the demon chloral i s bri e f l y , but dramatically described. 44) 27 "They say there i s a skeleton i n every cupboard," [Rossetti] s a i d i n a low voice, "and that's mine; i t i s c h l o r a l i " (p. 228; The chapter on R o s s e t t i * s death at Birehington i s i n t e r e s t i n g as Caine was an eyewitness to the event. But i n general, Caine, who undoubtedly sought to bask i n the r e f l e c t e d glory afforded by h i s a s s o c i a t i o n with a great a r t i s t , seems l e s s concerned with recounting R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e than with recording the conversations between poet and d i s c i p l e . Inasmuch as the R e c o l l e c t i o n s deals more with R o s s e t t i as an a r t i s t than a personality, i t i s t y p i c a l of the b i o g r a p h i c a l and c r i t i c a l works published i n the f i r s t few years a f t e r R o s s e t t i ' s death. William Sharp's Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i : A Record and a Study, and Joseph 15 Knight's L i f e and Writings of Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i , ^ both more e u l o g i s t i c than c r i t i c a l , are other examples of t h i s general type. In 1895, William Michael R o s s e t t i published h i s two-volume Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i : His Family L e t t e r s with a  Memoir. In the Memoir, which Oswald Doughty dismisses as " d u l l , d i s c r e e t , and c o l o u r l e s s , " (Doughty, p. 6) William Michael records h i s brother's l i f e accurately but with such f r u s t r a t i n g vagueness and obvious reticence that subsequent biographers have suspected him of knowing f a r more than he w i l l say, For example, he r e f e r s to a l e t t e r from Holman 28 Hunt to William B e l l Scott, written shortly after Rossetti's death, i n which Hunt says, "I had long ago forgiven him [Rossetti], and forgotten the offence, which i n fact, taken altogether, worked me good rather than harm." William Michael cautiously remarks, I understand perfectly well what i t i s that Mr. Hunt terms "the offence," hut w i l l not dwell upon any details; only remarking that, i f my reader chooses to ask the old question "Who was the Woman?" he w i l l not he far wrong, though his query may chance to remain forever unanswered.17 It could he said without exaggeration that the era of the biographical sleuths, whose a b i l i t i e s William Michael so naively underestimates, was launched on the impetus pro-- l o vided by such veiled allusions. Yet as late as 1911, Ford Madox Heuffer could complain: For thirty years or so Rossetti's figure was perpetually before the public, getting more and more pompous, more and more priestly, more and more li k e a German professor of the beautiful, growing duller and duller, and at l a s t he was dead. Last year he v/as as dead as a doornail. And that was a thousand p i t i e s , a triumph of obscuring pompousness over a man who was very great, and a poet who was very rare, 19 The person primarily responsible for turning Rossetti to stone was f/illiam Michael, and George Saintsbury, writing also i n 1911, applauded his efforts i n spreading "the 29 fraternal shield (long may he be preserved to repeat the 20 pious office J) over his dead brother." With prophetic accuracy, Professor Saintsbury added, "indeed, when a man has the singular il l - f o r t u n e to attract industrious parasites of the gende-lettre kind early, his legend i s never destroyed." 1 9 2 8 , the year of the Rossetti centenary, saw the publication of several biographical studies which clearly indicated that the Rossetti legend had not been destroyed. A comparison of Hall Caine's Recollections of 1882 with the drastically revised 1928 edition w i l l i l l u s t r a t e not only to what extent Rossetti*s personal l i f e had undergone care-f u l biographical scrutiny i n f i f t y years, but also how the facts of his l i f e had become mixed with f i c t i o n and speculation. 'Whereas i n the f i r s t Recollections, Caine seemed primarily concerned v/ith recounting Rossetti's comments on literature and art, i n the second, he concen-trates on incidents i n Rossetti*s personal l i f e . The disciple has become tne confidante, harboring confessions and secrets particularly about Rossetti's love a f f a i r s . He suggests that Rossetti loved someone other than Elizabeth Siddal, and describes Rossetti's l i f e accordingly as "a struggle between love and duty." (p. 37) Who this third member of the triangle i s , the reader i s not told. But 30 since the revelation follows close upon a description of Jane Morris, "the strongest, purest, and most lasting i n -fluence upon his l i f e , " the conclusion seems obvious—at least, i t has seemed so to many subsequent biographers, The topic i s resumed later i n Caine's book when he recalls a conversation between Rossetti and himself which pre-sumably took place as they were returning to London from the English Lakes i n 1881, and for which there exists "no witness except my own memory." (p. 197) Caine then offers a f u l l explanation of the tragedy which molded and eventually ruined Rossetti's l i f e , a tragedy of a man, who, after engaging himself to one woman i n a l l honour and good f a i t h , had f a l l e n i n love with another, and then gone on to marry the f i r s t out of a mistaken sense of loyalty and fear of giving pain, instead of stopping, as he must have done, i f his w i l l had been stronger and his heart sterner, at the door of the church i t s e l f , (pp. 200-201) Certain that a knowledge of the tragedy i n Rossetti's l i f e w i l l raise rather than lower his stature, Caine feels j u s t i f i e d i n making public this information which he had hitherto suppressed. His conclusion that "the whole truth that hurts i s better than the half truth that k i l l s , " (p. 205) may well jus t i f y the revelations made in this, edition. But, unfortunately, i n t e l l i n g the "whole truth" about this and other disputed events in Rossetti's l i f e , 31 he neglects to mention a few salient facts, and consequent-ly , instead of quelling the controversy, he succeeds only i n exciting i t further. In general, Caine's reconsidered Recollections i s of interest primarily because Rossetti emerges from i t a slightly mad, chloral-sodden wretch with a tragic past. As such, he reappears i n a number of twentieth century biographies. Not a l l the centenary biographies were of a sensational 21 nature, Evelyn Waugh's Rossetti: His L i f e and Works i s a reasoned, i f not total l y sympathetic, biographical and c r i t i c a l study of Rossetti, primarily as a painter. Of a similar type i s R.L. Megroz' Dante Gabriel Rossetti which i s divided into two parts described as "Mainly Biographical" and "Mainly C r i t i c a l . " Avoiding hearsay and gossip, Mdgroz presents a well-balanced summary of Rossetti's l i f e . His account of the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Rossetti's death, for example, i s confined to the known facts, and he dismisses the controversy with comments such as, Whatever the atmosphere in that doomed home was when the harassed husband l e f t the suffering wife to herself, there i s no reason for any attempt to a l l o t blame by biographers who must know far less of the facts than the mutual friends of Rossettis knew, (p. 75) However, he does offer some reasoned speculation as to the 3 2 cause of her death: In such an inharmonious marriage, so beset by the t r i v i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s of l i f e which may assume momentous importance with highly strung people, there must have been incidents enough to make so affectionate and imaginative a man remorseful after that tragic end. For we have to face the pro-bability that Lizzie Rossetti took that overdose of laudanum i n an hysterical moment with the knowledge that i t was f a t a l , The suspicion of such a thing would have . been cause enough for Rossetti's distress, apart from the bare loss of the "lovely Guggums11. (p. 76) Because Megroz i s mainly concerned with Rossetti, the a r t i s t , he invades the murky realm of Rossetti's l i f e only to the extent that i t offers insight into his art. In 1932, a work appeared which, though not s t r i c t l y a biography of Rossetti, was nonetheless firmly grounded on the Rossetti legend unwittingly fostered by William Michael and supported by Hall Caine, Violet Hunt's The Wife of , Rossetti i s an anecdotal potpourri about the Rossettis based on information "chiefly oral, from the circumstances of my childhood and early girlhood, spent much i n the company of the actors i n the scenes I am attempting to describe," and on secondary material of varying degrees of 22 r e l i a b i l i t y . Although Miss Hunt focusses on Elizabeth Siddal, claiming that "the truth about Rossetti has been told," ( v i i ) her unsympathetic portrayal of Rossetti as a 33 cold-blooded, promiscuous rake who drove his wife to suicide, adds a new dimension to the Rossetti legend. The author claims that she "cannot forgive Rossetti"; ( x x i i i ) her conception of the poet i s , indeed, unforgivable. It i s i n Miss Hunt's book, for example, that the l i s t of Rossetti's lovers extends to include Fanny Cornforth, Annie Miller , Barbara Leigh-Smith, J and Jane Morris. Moreover, Miss Hunt displays a considerable aptitude for augmenting, distorting, and sensationalizing the more dramatic events of the poet's l i f e . She carefully recreates a conversation between Rossetti and his wife on the night of her death, although there were no witnesses to such a con-versation, (pp. 302-304) She quotes the contents of a note supposedly pinned to Mrs. Rossetti's nightdress when she died—"My l i f e i s so miserable I wish for nor more of i t " — a note which Ford Madox Brown apparently destroyed, and 24 over which there has been much subsequent discussion, (p. 305) She asserts that, on the night of Ms wife's death, Rossetti was v i s i t i n g Fanny Cornforth, 2' 5 (p. 304) and she closes her account of the death with the touching tale about one of Mrs, Rossetti's doves being buried with her. (p, 318) Gossipy and unreliable as i t i s , The Wife of  Rossetti cannot be ignored by either biographers or c r i t i c s since, as Helen Rossetti Angeli points out, " i t i s 34 the o r i g i n of so much that has subsequently been written about [ R o s s e t t i ] , from biographical excursions to drama, broadcast fantasies, and p e r i o d i c a l comment and c r i t i c i s m . I t may be said to have created a school, and Miss Winwar, 26 author of The Ro s s e t t i s and t h e i r C i r c l e , was taken to task i n the columns of our leading l i t e r a r y weekly f o r dar-ing to write about R o s s e t t i without consulting t h i s authority," (Angeli, p, 7) David L a r g 1 s T r i a l by V i r g i n s , Fragment of a Biography,' i s s i m i l a r i n kind, though fort u n a t e l y not i n influence, to Miss Hunt's biography, I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g p r i m a r i l y as a t y p i c a l example of s e m i - f i c t i o n a l biography i n which f a c t i s generously embellished, not only with speculation and gossip, but with outright f a b r i c a t i o n . The author, assuming omniscience, wanders f r e e l y through the minds and drawing rooms of h i s characters, recording both t h e i r thoughts and intimate conversations. The r e s u l t i s neither a v a l i d b i o -28 graphy nor a successful work of f i c t i o n , A b r i e f excerpt from the book w i l l i l l u s t r a t e both Larg's u n f l a t t e r i n g p o r t r a y a l of the Ro s s e t t i s and the l i b e r t i e s he has taken i n portraying them. The occasion i s a private quarrel between R o s s e t t i and Miss S i d d a l . She knew the s e l f i s h f o o l s . This man with h i s large eyes was l i k e a l l the others. A f t e r she had been s t i l l long enough he 35 would put h i s hand out and touch her, expecting her to melt. She had had enough of that too. Just l e t him. He did. Exactly to time-table. At f i r s t explanatory and tender, Then bl u s t e r i n g . Then sorry, watching her. At l a s t h i s hand stretched out and she sprang to her f e e t . "Take your hands o f f me. Hot sure, are you^ whether we are engaged or not? Don'tjknow, do you, what my mother w i l l say? Well, l i s t e n to what I say, Get out. And keep out. Want to know i f we're engaged? Lovely. Well, now you know. We are not. I say we are not, Go and marry your whore at Wapping and t e l l your mother she can keep her great genius of a son." (p. 241) Once more, a member of the R o s s e t t i family f e l t obliged to r i s e i n defence of the maligned a r t i s t , Helen Madox R o s s e t t i Angeli i s overly p a r t i s a n i n her praise of R o s s e t t i and i n her c r i t i c i s m of h i s biographers. But, i n Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i : His Friends and Enemies, she does not attempt, as her father, William Michael, did, to "spread the f r a t e r n a l s h i e l d " over R o s s e t t i . In f a c t , R o s s e t t i ' s private l i f e , and e s p e c i a l l y h i s love a f f a i r s , are given a d e t a i l e d examination. But Mrs. A n g e l i 1 s work i s s i g n i f i -cant, not only because i n i t she attacks the sensational biographies—which she does with v i g o u r — b u t because she attempts to recreate an a t t r a c t i v e image of R o s s e t t i and to restore him to p o s t e r i t y as a human being. She i s to be f o r g i v e n f o r occasi o n a l l y descending into the realm of 36 gossip to prove i t i l l - f o u n d e d , and f o r too e n t h u s i a s t i -c a l l y whitewashing R o s s e t t i and h i s l i f e . That she manages to salvage h i s reputation at a l l i s a c r e d i t to her a b i l i t y i n attacking the legend almost single-handed. Oswald Doughty's A V i c t o r i a n Romantic: Dante G a b r i e l  R o s s e t t i i s undoubtedly the most thorough and comprehen-sive of the biographies published since R o s s e t t i ' s death. The purpose of the biography i s twofold: I t seemed worthwhile... i n the hope of obtaining a more accurate p o r t r a i t of R o s s e t t i , and, what i s perhaps more impor-tant, a c l e a r e r understanding of those obscure poems which compose The House of  L i f e , to attempt a new biography based on a detai l e d , i m p a r t i a l examination of a l l a v a i l a b l e published and unpublished material, a close adherence to authenti-cated f a c t , and the avoidance of mere sensationalism.,,.My method was to arrange a l l my m a t e r i a l . . . i n chronological order, i n c l u d i n g R o s s e t t i ' s l i t e r a r y and p i c t o r i a l works which could thus be seen i n t h e i r correct biographical contexts and perspective, (p. 8) Doughty's method of drawing close p a r a l l e l s between Ro s s e t t i ' s work and h i s l i f e i n order to illuminate both, makes the biography an invaluable a i d to the biographical c r i t i c . However, A V i c t o r i a n Romantic i s l e s s a c r i t i c a l biography than a psychological study and a v e h i c l e f o r developing Doughty's the s i s concerning the r e l a t i o n s h i p 37 between R o s s e t t i and Jane Morris. He cannot r e s i s t coming to two "inescapable conclusions," one suggesting that uncertainty as to whether Mrs R o s s e t t i ' s death was accidental or s u i c i d a l aggravated R o s s e t t i ' s hereditary tendency to anxiety, the other, a passion f o r Mrs, Morris, which through i t s f r u s t r a t i o n s and complexities, together with the burden of debt, i n t e n s i f i e d h i s morbid tendency un-t i l i t assumed at l e a s t some of the aspects of paranoia, (pp. 8-9) In order to support such conclusions, Doughty frequently misinterprets R o s s e t t i ' s poems by f o r c i n g close biographi-c a l p a r a l l e l s and by ignoring any i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s which w i l l not support h i s t h e s i s . The controversy prompted by Doughty's biography, and the subsequent renewed i n t e r e s t i n the Jane Morris a f f a i r , i n t e n s i f i e d by the knowledge that l e t t e r s from R o s s e t t i to Mrs. Morris w i l l be opened by the B r i t i s h Museum i n 1964, bear witness to the f a c t that 2Q the R o s s e t t i legend i s s t i l l growing. ^ Doughty's book, instead of s e t t l i n g disputes, seems rather to have i n t e n -s i f i e d them. What absurd heights the legend has attained can be i l l u s t r a t e d by two f i c t i o n a l biographies of R o s s e t t i published within the past eight years, A V i c t o r i a n Love  Story: A Study of the V i c t o r i a n Romantics Based on the  L i f e of Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i by Narina Shute, and Angel 38 with bright Hair by Paula Batchelor. 30 A brief quotation from the second and less distorted treatment w i l l serve as a concluding commentary on the present trend in Rossetti studies. The scene once more concerns a lovers' quarrel between Mr, and Mrs, Rossetti, She gasped as though crying, but there were no tears i n her eyes, "There's enough circuses and parties and the 'dear boys,* and for the sluts you bring in off the streets i Oh yes, I hear about them, and I'm not the only one to think you a l l the more low and v i l e and despicable for i t I , . . If only I could d i e , . . i f only I had died the last time,,.." Then she turned suddenly and stared at him with such loathing that he moved uneasily, "How you'd love me i f I were dead i The faster I rotted the better off you'd be i» "Lizzie, for God's sake " (p. 168) Truth, Candour, and Honesty, "the three Gods who keep watch and ward by the inkpot of biography,"^ might well r i s e in defence of Violet Hunt, Hall Caine and Doughty, and against William Michael and other disciples of the t r i o , Purity, Modesty, and Chastity. It i s more l i k e l y , however, that they would retire i n baffled con-fusion. For the truth about Rossetti i s d i f f i c u l t to t e l l , as the foregoing summary has indicated. And without the truth, without some concrete body of reliable fact, biographical c r i t i c i s m of Rossetti*s poetry can be a cash for what 39 f u t i l e pursuit, fraught with dangers and p i t f a l l s which the c r i t i c w i l l find d i f f i c u l t to avoid. If he i s fortunate, he may escape exposure to the works of Larg, Batchelor, and Shute—but he must be certain that such works have not had an influence on an otherwise rel i a b l e source of information, If he i s wise, he may conduct a Doughty-like "impartial examination" of available material, without becoming involved i n "inescapable conclusions." That the biographical approach, cautiously employed, can provide valuable insight into some of Rossetti's poetry i s il l u s t r a t e d i n the work done by Paull Franklin Baum on "The P o r t r a i t " 3 2 and "The Stream's Secret." 3 3 Baum j u s t i f i e s his biographical approach to these poems with the observation that through these and other poems written between 1869 and 1871 "run five related but distinguishable themes: passionate love, the malignant woman, severance, the conflict of two loves, and thoughts of suicide and death," (P.B.S.. x x v i i i ) and that these themes correspond closely to events in Rossetti's l i f e during this period. William Michael had denied any bio-graphical significance in "The Portrait": 1 In printed notices of my brother's poems I have often seen the supposition advanced that this poem was written after the death of his wife, i n relation to some portrait he had 40 painted of her during her lifetime. The supposition i s very natural—yet not correct. The poem was i n fact an extremely early one, and purely imaginary,—perhaps in the f i r s t draft of i t , as early as 1847; i t was after-wards considerably revised.34 But Baum points out that the portion "considerably revised"—nearly half the poem—constitutes "the basis of our impression of the autobiographic character of the poem." The same acute sense of loss, the same half-mystical vision, so familiar elsewhere in Rossetti's poetry written i n the decade after his wife's death, are unmistakable here, In the earlier poem the feeling of separation by death i s simply conventional romanticism. What was an imaginary portrait has become an autobiographical fact.... (List, p. 28) A similar fusion of imaginary and actual experience can be seen i n "The Stream's Secret," i n which the poet, deeply and desperately i n love with a woman who, he realizes, can never be his, communes with the Stream, f a n c i f u l l y believing that i t knows the answer to his question and con-fessing a l l his aberrations, and implores i t to t e l l him i f he shall ever be united with his beloved; and the reply Is, Only after death. (P.B.S. xxxii) Baum feels that the loved one referred to i n this poem i s identical to the "Innominata" of The House of Lif e sonnets, although R.L. Megroz had presented convincing 41 evidence to show that the woman in question was Rossetti's wife. (Megroz, p. 192 et seq.) This contradiction of interpretations can exist, says Baum, because "The Stream's Secret" i s a work of the imagination, not a biographical document.... It i s a record of conflicting loves, the two figures now blended into one, now set over against each other. There i s per-haps no confusion in the poet's mind—it i s a fusion (not quite complete, to be sure) for the purposes of art. (P.B.S. xxxv) In interpreting Rossetti's poetry, then, the c r i t i c i s faced with a "peculiar problem.,.Rossetti has fused an impersonally dramatic situation with an intensely personal emotion. In Rossetti's case we can apply the biographic test with some security; for other poets we are often l e f t to surmise merely." (List, pp. 28-29) The failure to recognize this problem, to acknowledge that the poems are poetic creations, has led c r i t i c s to excess i n drawing biographical parallels between Rossetti's poetry and his l i f e . Nowhere i s this practice., more clearly evident than in the body of crit i c i s m dealing with The House of L i f e . Considering the keen interest expressed i n Rossetti's l i f e and personality by both his contemporaries and his biographers, i t i s not surprising that this sonnet sequence, dealing as i t does with l i f e , love, and death, should have been traditionally accepted as an autobiographical record. 42 Rossetti, himself, had asserted that "I hardly ever... produce a sonnet except on some "basis of special momen-^5 tary emotion,"-^ and William Michael gave ta c i t acceptance to a biographical interpretation of The House of Lif e by saying that i t "embodies salient incidents and emotions i n [Rossetti's] life.,,there are very few of the sonnets which are not s t r i c t l y personal, and not one through which his individual feelings and views do not transpire." 3^ Elsewhere, however, Rossetti claimed that i n The House of L i f e , "the 'Life' recorded i s neither my_ l i f e nor your l i f e , but l i f e purely and simply," J l affirming, as Baum later affirms, the truth that the poet may fuse personal experience with imaginative material to create an impersonal work of art. To speak i n the f i r s t person i s often to speak most vividly....Whether the recorded moment exists i n the region of fact or of thought i s a question indifferent to the Muse, so long only as her touch can quicken it.3 8 Unfortunately, these claims of impersonality i n The House of  Life have been ignored or dismissed by Rossetti's c r i t i c s . 43 FOOTNOTES 1. William Holman, John Everett M i l l a i s , William Michael Rossetti, Thomas Woolner, James Collinson, and Frederick George Stephens. 2. Christina Rossetti, "In an Artist's Studio," line 1. 3. Hunt's envy of Rossetti's leadership, which he f e l t should have been his, manifested i t s e l f i n his petulant c r i t i c i s m of Rossetti i n Pre-Raphaelitism  and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 2 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1905-1906). 4. "Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Chapter from a Painter's Reminiscences," Magazine of Art, XXVII, n.s. II (1904), p. 281. 5. Quoted i n Oswald Doughty, A Victorian Romantic: Dante  Gabriel Rossetti (London: Muller, I960), p. 423. See Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson, A Player under Three  Reigns (London: Uhwin, 1925). 6. "D.G.R.," Bookman (London), X L (June 1911), 113. 7. Tudor House, 16 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, to which Rossetti moved in 1862, was i t s e l f a source of public interest and speculation especially after i t acquired the wombats and other curious animals comprising Rossetti's private zoo. 8. Of particular interest are: Dante Gabriel Rossetti: His Family Letters, with a Memoir, 2 vols, (London: E l l i s , 1895); Ruskin: Rossetti: Pre-Raphaelitism. Papers 1854 to 1862. ed. W.M. Rossetti (London: Allen. 1899); Rossetti Papers (1862-1870). ed, W.M. Rossetti (London: Sands, 1903); Three Rossettis: Unpublished  Letters to and from Dante Gabriel, Christina, William, ed. Janet Camp Troxell (Cambridge, Mass,: Harvard Univ. Press, 1937); Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Letters to  Fanny Cornforth, ed, Paull Franklin Baum (Baltimore! Johns Hopkins Press, 1940). The autobiographies and Memoirs include: William Allingham, A Diary, ed. Helen Allingham and D. Radford (London: Macmillan, 1907); C[eorgiana] B[urne]-j[ones], Memorials of Edward Burne-44 -Jones, 2 vols, (London: Macmillan, 1 9 0 4 ) ; Thomas Gordon Hake, Memoirs of Eighty Years (London: Behtley, I 8 9 2 ) ; William B e l l Scott, Autobiographical Notes,,, and Notices of His A r t i s t i c and Poetical Circle of friends, 1830-1882, ed. W. Minto, 2 vols, (London: Osgood, 1892J. 9. Letters to_ Fanny Cornforth, Intro, p. 23; Conclusion, p. 139. This volume contains the most thorough examination of this curious relationship. 10. See especially the attack made on his poetry by Robert Buchanan: Thomas Maitland [Robert Buchanan], "The Fleshly School of Poetry: Mr. D.G. Rossetti," Contemporary Review, XVIII (October 1871), 334-350; expanded and re-published as The Fleshly School of  Poetry and other Phenomena of the Day (London: Strahan, 1872); for discussion of controversy prompted by Buchanan's attack, see John A. Cassidy, "Robert Buchanan and the Fleshly Controversy," PMLA, LXVII (March 1952), 65-93. 11. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Painter Poet of Heaven i n Earth (London: Faber, 1920j, Appendix C. 12. "The Case of Dante Gabriel Rossetti," American Journal of Psychiatry, XCII (March 1936), 1111-1172; see also Richard D. Altick, [Dante Gabriel Rossetti] i n "Post--Mortems," The Scholar Adventurer (New York: Macmillan, 1950); David I. Macht and Nellie L. Gissford, "The Un-fortunate Drug Experience of Dante Gabriel Rossetti," Bu l l e t i n of the Institute of the History of Medicine. VI U938). 34-61; W.D. Paden, "La Pia de' Tolomei: of Dante Gabriel Rossetti." Register of the Museum of  Art (University of Kansas), II, no. 1 (November 1958), 11-18, and notes 30, 31, 3 3 , 3 7 , 46. 1 3 . He did, however, publish a few ar t i c l e s about Rossetti: with F.G. Stephens, "Mr, Dante Gabriel Rossetti," Athenaeum, No, 2842 (15 A p r i l 1882), 480-482; "The Truth about Rossetti," Nineteenth Century. XIII (March 1883), 404-423; "The Li f e of D.G. Rossetti," Spectator. LXXVI, no. 3539 (25 A p r i l 1896), 596-597, i n which he says he has not abandoned his intention to write Rossetti's biography. 14. (London: Stock, 1882). Incorporated into My Story 45 (Hew York: Appleton, 1908). Republished as Recollections of Rossetti (London: Cassell, 1928). 15. (London: Macmillan, 1882); (London: Scott, 1887). Of a similar type i s Arthur C. Benson's Rossetti (English Men of Letters) (London: Macmillan, 1904). 16. See Scott, II, 312. 17. Family Letters, I, 201. 18. Helen Rossetti Angeli, Dante Gabriel Rossetti: His  Friends and Enemies (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1949), p. 72, identifies the woman as Annie Miller, a model whom Hunt at one time planned to marry. The conclusion finds support i n comments made about Rossetti and Annie M i l l e r by G.P. Boyce i n his diary: Arthur E. Street, "George Price Boyce v/ith Extracts from G.P. Boyce's Diaries, 1851-1875," The Old Water-Colour  Society's Club, Nineteenth Annual Volume, ed. Randall Davies (London: O.W.C.S., 1941). 19. Heuffer, p. 115. Val Prinsep, who never saw Rossetti after 1872, says i n his "Painter's Reminiscences," " i t i s impossible that the humorous, witty, and cap-tivating Rossetti I knew could ever become the sententious prig [his later friends] have depicted," p. 286. 20. "The Poetry of D.G.R.," Bookman (London) XL (June 1911), 120. • 21. (London: Duckworth, 1928). In'Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Centenary Criticism," Fortnightly Review, n.s. CXXIII (May 1928), 595-604, Waugh observes, "At the present time, a hundred years after Rossetti's birth, his fame seems i n real danger of extinction."-(595). He adds, " i t i s easy to see what i t was i n Rossetti's l i f e and personality which captivated the imaginations of his contemporaries. His value to us i s a different matter. A l l his art, poetry as well as painting, i s essentially human and personal, two qualities which modern c r i t i -cism does not regard with sympathy." (604). 22. (New York: Dutton, 1932), Intro., x x i i i . For comments on the u n r e l i a b i l i t y of these sources, see Angeli, p. 7 . 46 23. l a t e r , Madame Bodichon, whose country place, Scalands, R o s s e t t i and Miss Siddal v i s i t e d i n 1856. 24. See l e t t e r s of Mrs. Angeli, R. Sunne, and V i o l e t Hunt i n Time and Tide, XIII, no, 2 (July-December 1932), 1 October 1932, 2 October 1932, 22 October 1932, 5 November 1932: and l e t t e r from Clara Watts-Dunton, Angeli, p. 272, Legend also has i t that Mrs, R o s s e t t i was c l u t c h i n g a note asking that someone take care of her brother, Harry. 25. Miss Hunt l a t e r r e t r a c t e d the statement i n a l e t t e r i n Time and Tide, XIII, no. 2 (July-December 1932), 8 October 1932, 26. Poor Splendid Wings: The Ro s s e t t i s and Their C i r c l e (Boston: L i t t l e Brown, 1933). This volume together with William Gaunt's The Pre-Raphaelite Tragedy (London: Cape, 1942), reissued as The Pre-Raphaelite Dream (London: Reprint Society, 1943); and Francis L. B i c k l e y ' s The Pre-Raphaelite Comedy (London: Constable, 1932), a l l tend toward sensationalism and gossip i n t h e i r t r e a t -ment of the Pre-Raphaelites. Evelyn Waugh, i n a e u l o g i s t i c review of Miss Hunt's book, says, "There i s not a page of Miss Hunt's book that does not contain some piece of information enormously s i g n i f i c a n t to the student who has wandered bewildered among the o f f i c i a l sources." "Rossetti's Wife," Spectator, CXLIX, no. 5441 (8 October 1932), 449-27. (London: Davies, 1933) . 28. For a more successful imaginative r e - c r e a t i o n of an i n c i d e n t i n R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e , see Sacheverell S i t w e l l ' s "Dumb Tones and Shuddering Semitones of Death," Dance  of the Quick and the Dead (London: Paber, 1936), i n which S i t w e l l describes the evening of Mrs. R o s s e t t i ' s death. 29. For example, see the correspondence between Doughty and S i r Sidney Cocherell i n Times L i t e r a r y Supplement, no, 2575 (8 June 1951), 357; no. 2579 (6 J u l y 1951), 421; no, 2585 (17 August 1951), 517; no. 2586 (24 August 1951), 533; no. 2588 (7 September 1951), 565. See also Paden; and the claim made by H.R. Williamson that R o s s e t t i ' s secret love was r e a l l y A l i c e Boyd: "The Lost Letter."-Time and Tide. XL (14 March 1959) , 305-307. 47 30. (London: J a r r o l d s , 1954); (London: Methuen, 1957). 31. "Virginia Woolf, Orlando: A Biography (London: Hogarth Press, 1933), 123* 32. Dante Gabriel R o s s e t t i : An A n a l y t i c a l L i s t of Manu-s c r i p t s i n the Duke Un i v e r s i t y Library, with Hitherto  Unpublished Verse and Prose, ed. P a u l l Pranklin Baum (Durham N.C.: Duke Un i v e r s i t y Press, 1931), pp. 28-30. Hereafter r e f e r r e d to as L i s t . •33. Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i : Poems, Ballads and Sonnets, ed. P a u l l Pranklin Baum (Garden C i t y N.Y.: Doubleday Doran, 1937), Intro, xxxi-xxxvi. Hereafter r e f e r r e d to as P.B.S. K.L. Knickerbocker, i n "Rossetti's *The Blessed Damozel'," Studies i n Philology, XXIX (July 1932), 485-504, also employs the biographical method to show that t h i s poem, o r i g i n a l l y written when R o s s e t t i was eighteen, gradually became coloured with biographical touches as R o s s e t t i i d e n t i f i e d the Damozel with h i s dead wife, Knickerbocker traces t h i s transformation through four basic versons of the poem, but h i s evidence i s challenged and dismissed by Baum, Dante G a b r i e l  R o s s e t t i : "The Blessed Damozel," The Unpublished Manu-s c r i p t , Texts and C o l l a t i o n (Chapel H i l l , N.C.: Univer-s i t y of Worth Carolina Press, 1937), Intro, x v i i i - x x i , although Baum concedes that the argument i s reasonable: " i t i s as c e r t a i n as such a thing can be without documentary evidence, that i n 1869 or 1870 R o s s e t t i recognized the likeness between h i s imaginary l o v e r of 1847 looking up towards the Blessed Damozel and himself thinking of L i z z i e Siddal's 'soul-sequestered face f a r o f f • . " (xx). 34. The C o l l e c t e d Works of Dante Gabr i e l R o s s e t t i , ed. William M. R o s s e t t i (London: E l l i s , Ititib), I, 519. 35. L e t t e r from R o s s e t t i to Scott from Kelmscott, 25 August 1871; see Scott, I I , 150. 36. The Siddal E d i t i o n [of the Works of Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i J (London: E l l i s , 1899-1901), Preface, p. 9. 37. Prom unpublished notebook IV of R o s s e t t i ' s i h the P i t z w i l l i a m Museum, Cambridge; quoted i n The House of  L i f e : A Sonnet-Sequence by Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i , ed. P a u l l P r a n k l i n Baum (Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1928), Intro,, p. 47, n, 2. 48 38. Prom the Pitzwilliam "House o f L i f e " (1881); quoted i n Baum, House of Lif e , Intro., p. 4 7 , n. 2 . CHAPTER THREE THE BIOGRAPHICAL IMPERATIVE Much of the c r i t i c i s m of The House of L i f e i s concerned with the dating of i n d i v i d u a l sonnets because, as P.M. T i s d e l determined, "such a study ought both to throw l i g h t on the mystery of the poet's l i f e and also to help c l e a r up some of the o b s c u r i t i e s of the sonnets.""^" Although William Michael, on several occasions, attempted 2 to assign dates to the sonnets, h i s e f f o r t s have not proved e n t i r e l y acceptable to subsequent c r i t i c s who doubt the accuracy of h i s memory or who suspect that he i s once more spreading the f r a t e r n a l s h i e l d . The problem of dating i s f u r t h e r complicated by statements made by R o s s e t t i himself, p a r t i c u l a r l y those which appear i n edi t i o n s of h i s poems. In Poems (1870) he informed the reader: Many poems i n t h i s volume were written between 1847 and 1853- Others are of a recent date, and a few belong to the i n t e r -vening period. I t has been thought 49 50 unnecessary to specify the e a r l i e r work, as nothing i s included which the author believes to be immature. Prefacing the 1881 version of The House of L i f e was the comment: It w i l l be evident that among those now f i r s t added are s t i l l the work of e a r l i e r years, Oswald Doughty c a l l s t h i s l a t t e r comment misleading since most of the sonnets added i n 1881 were written between 1870 and 1873, that i s , during the time of h i s "regenerate rapture" when he v/as involved with Jane Morris, I f R o s s e t t i was, i n f a c t , obfuscating dates i n order to hide h i s p r i v a t e l i f e from p u b l i c view, h i s a c t i o n has had just the opposite e f f e c t . In an e f f o r t to e s t a b l i s h dates of composition, c r i t i c s have been l e d from a study of the sonnets to a study of R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e and back to a more or l e s s biographical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the e n t i r e sequence. The trend toward biographical inreading of The House of  L i f e i s thus based on both biographical assumptions and conclusions. P.M. T i s d e l , f o r example, assumes that those sonnets of a sensual nature must have been i n s p i r e d by E l i z a b e t h Siddal, and he dates these between 1851 and 1862, Ruth W a l l e r s t e i n groups the sonnets around events i n 51 Rossetti's l i f e , his marriage, his tenancy at Kelmscott, and dates the sonnets accordingly.^ The c r i t i c s seem to agree that most of the sonnets i n The House of Life were written during two general periods: 1848 to 1855, and 1868 to 1873- The biographical significance of these two periods cannot be overlooked, since the f i r s t parallels the time of Rossetti's a f f a i r with Elizabeth Siddal, and the second his a f f a i r with Jane Morris. In fact, i t i s useless to deny that the l i f e of Rossetti hovers i n the background or foreground of many sonnets in The House of L i f e . They are intended to be moments' monuments, and occasionally the moment immortalized too precisely coincides with a biographical fact. Yet such precise coincidences are not frequent. Of the thirteen or fourteen sonnets written between 1848 and 1855,^ for example, a few seem to depict Rossetti wrestling with the problems of his a r t i s t i c career which he feels has been thwarted by fate or his own indecision. Some of the ideas expressed i n the group, "Old and New Art" (LXXIV-LXXVI) echo those propounded by the P.R.B. in The Germ. "Lost on Both Sides" (XCI), as William Michael suggests,^ may be a discussion as to whether poetry or painting w i l l provide Rossetti's career. But this poem, l i k e "The Choice" (LXXI-LXXIII), may be less a personal debate than a l i t e r a r y 52 exercise. Only three of the sonnets written i n this 1 period could even remotely be applied to Miss Siddal. "The Birth-Bond" (XV) expresses a Platonic, or even Budd-h i s t i c , conception of love; the other two, "Broken Music" (XLVII) and "A Dark Day" (LXVIII), may be taken as general statements, unless one agrees with Doughty that the f i r s t concerns Rossetti's despair that Miss Siddal w i l l not succumb to his advances without marriage, (Doughty, pp. 130-131) or that the second is a debate as to whether or not he should marry her, (p, 154) A few of the sonnets written between 1868 and 1873 pose interpretive problems which can be solved only with the aid of biographical facts. In " l i f e i n Love" (XXXVI) and "The Love-Moon" (XXXVII), i t i s s p e c i f i c a l l y stated that a new love has entered The House of Li f e , a revela-tion for which the reader has not been previously prepared, but which becomes c l a r i f i e d by a knowledge that Rossetti's l i f e was marked by two important love a f f a i r s , Thus, the "dead face, bowered i n the furthest years," [XXXVII, 1. 1] and the "poor tress of hair" [ZXXVI, 1. 9] seem unmistak-able allusions to Rossetti's dead wife, and the lady addressed i n the sonnets' can be identified as Jane Morris. "Pride of Youth" (XXIV) and "The Moonstar" (XXIX) suggest less concretely the existence of two loves, but can be 53 i n t e r p r e t e d more generally, "Sleepless Dreams" (XXXIX) concerns the insomnia which plagued R o s s e t t i during t h i s time; "Through Death to Love" (XLI) may contain references to h i s contemplated suicide, and "The Sun's Shame" [1] (XCII) contains a number of general p a r a l l e l s to R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e . Only a handful of sonnets, then, from The House of L i f e i n v i t e or demand biographical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to c l a r i f y t h e i r meaning, Yet the majority of c r i t i c s choose to d i s -cuss the e n t i r e sequence as an autobiographical record. The desire to impose the poet's private l i f e upon the poems i s , of course, tempting, and i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to see why a c r i t i c , s t r i v i n g to reach daylight through what are frequent-l y dark and obscure sonnets, w i l l r e l y on a method which seems both reasonable and f a c i l e , The f a c t that many of the sonnets are love poems of an intimate nature would seem to support an e s s e n t i a l l y biographical approach to t h e i r a n a l y s i s . Even Ross e t t i ' s denials of personality i n the sequence give support to a biographical approach since, as Doughty says, R o s s e t t i " u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y arouses suspicions that [the sonnets] do i n f a c t contain the biographic s i g n i f i -cance he h a l f denies and obviously wishes to hide," (p. 379) T y p i c a l of t h i s trend to biographical c r i t i c i s m i s Oswald Doughty's analysis of The House of L i f e i n h i s c r i t i c a l 54 biography, A V i c t o r i a n Romantic. Doughty's aim i s not an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the sonnet sequence but a p o r t r a y a l of R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e , and much of the evidence to support t h i s p o r t r a y a l , e s p e c i a l l y as con cerns R o s s e t t i ' s a f f a i r with Jane Morris, comes from a b i o g r a p h i c a l inreading of The House of L i f e which Doughty considers to be a r e l i a b l e source of biographical data, Indeed the l i f e which energizes these sonnets i s not l i f e "representative," but l i f e e s s e n t i a l l y i n d i v i d u a l , i n d i v i d u a l i s -t i c and of a p a r t i c u l a r period, despite the l a r g e l y generalized form of expression created by the omission of d e f i n i t e p e r r r sonal and l o c a l elements. Like so much of R o s s e t t i ' s a r t , both poetic and p i c t o r i a l , t h i s sonnet-sequence i s e s s e n t i a l l y . , . "autopsychology," From t h i s a r i s e both the b i o g r a p h i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e and general obscurity of The House of L i f e which f o r the most part expresses thoughts and f e e l -ings aroused and conditioned i n R o s s e t t i by personal experiences of which the reader i s l e f t wholly or p a r t l y ignorant. Hence i t follows that The House of L i f e and R o s s e t t i ' s biography are interdependent, each i n some -- degree i l l u m i n a t i n g the other, ( p p . 383-384) Frequently, Doughty provides.:a fresh, i l l u m i n a t i n g a n a l y s i s of sonnets which have perplexed other c r i t i c s . For example, a considerable number of the sonnets are characterized by underlying emotions of remorse, g u i l t , fear, and general depression, Most c r i t i c s have concluded that these f e e l i n g s have been prompted by the t r a g i c death of R o s s e t t i ' s wife 55 and by disillusionment with himself following Robert Buchanan's f i e r c e attack on him and h i s poetry i n 1871. Dismissing these explanations, Doughty suggests that the despondency and remorse arose from the v i c i s s i t u d e s i n Ro s s e t t i ' s secret and i l l i c i t r e l a t i o n s h i p with Jane Morris. Of "love's F a t a l i t y " (LIV), f o r example, Doughty asks, "'Love's F a t a l i t y * !—was not that, rather than a belated r e p e t i t i o n of a contemptible l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , the basic cause of Ro s s e t t i ' s breakdown, and the explanation of h i s f i r s t spontaneous cry upon recovery?" (p. 541) Doughty's explanation i s e s p e c i a l l y i l l u m i n a t i n g since, i n many i n -stances, these poetic moods seem i l l - f o u n d e d or exaggerated i f considered only within the confines of the sequence. In general, Doughty's r e - c r e a t i o n of the Rossetti-Jane Morris a f f a i r throws considerable l i g h t on those sonnets written between 1868 and 1873, p a r t i c u l a r l y those composed while R o s s e t t i was staying at Kelmscott i n the summer of 1871. The a l l u s i o n s to a new love, the immediacy of the love poems, the suggestions that the separation mourned i s temporary rather than permanent—all such problems which have faced c r i t i c s who wish to see E l i z a b e t h Siddal as the i n s p i r a t i o n f o r these sonnets, are resolved s a t i s f a c t o r i l y by Doughty's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Unfortunately, i n using the sonnets to e s t a b l i s h 56 b i o g r a p h i c a l f a c t 5 Doughty ignores the obvious f a c t that i n d i v i d u a l trees c o l l e c t i v e l y make a wood, His attempt to l i n k each sonnet of the sequence with a moment i n R o s s e t t i 1 s l i f e may, as he asserts, c l a r i f y both, but the dismembering of the sequence which such a method demands w i l l contribute l i t t l e to an understanding of The House  of L i f e as a u n i f i e d work of a r t , Moreover, Doughty's preoccupation with biography often r e s u l t s i n narrow, s u p e r f i c i a l , and insupportable i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of i n d i v i d u a l poems. His curious readings of "Broken Music" (XLVIl) and "A Dark Day" have already been noted. In discovering i n "The Dark Glass" (XXXIV) an ominous note of impending ^ calamity, a foreshadowing of separation from "Janey," (p. 537) he overlooks the broader s i g n i f i c a n c e of the poem's message. S i m i l a r l y , i n "Heart's Haven" (XXII), which celebrates Love's power to turn away " a l l shafts of s h e l t e r l e s s tumultuous day," [ l . l l ] Doughty sees only a d e p i c t i o n of "bitter-sweet emotions of secret l o v e - t r y s t s with a t e a r f u l and apparently conscience-stricken woman." (p. 533) The narrowness of Doughty's approach can be most c l e a r l y seen i n h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the e a r l y poem, "The Landmark" (LXVII), which, i n i t s reference to taking a wrong turn, Baum terms almost too general to be autobiographical. Doughty claims i t has to do with 57 R o s s e t t i ' s f a i l u r e to see i n E l i z a b e t h Siddal the i d e a l love he had envisioned. "Gabriel recognizes a tardy but sincere love f o r some humble person whose a f f e c t i o n he has abused and betrayed i n h i s expectation of a sincere passion f o r some more exalted l o v e r who w i l l appear i n due time." (p. 153) Doughty's con t r i b u t i o n to the c r i t i c i s m of The House of L i f e i s thus both p o s i t i v e and negative; f o r other c r i t i c s he provides a valuable example of the biographical approach c l e v e r l y but sometimes r e c k l e s s l y employed. In The Romantic Imagination, CM. Bowra makes an observation which points toward a successful i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of The House of L i f e : Although [the sonnets] are based on a c t u a l experience, and i t may i n some cases be possible to trace them to t h e i r source, there i s no need to do t h i s , and i t i s almost an i r r e v e l a n t task, since R o s s e t t i transmutes p a r t i c u l a r occasions into moments of u n i v e r s a l i n t e r e s t and i s con-cerned only with t h e i r l a s t i n g and e s s e n t i a l appeal.7 p.%03 Ruth W a l l e r s t e i n recommends, but places r e s t r i c t i o n s on, a biographical approach to The House of L i f e , observing that, although a sonnet takes i t s inceptions from some s p e c i f i c and personal experience, the 58 poet generalizes and a l l e g o r i z e s i t i n such a way as to imply the personal and s t i l l give us no clew to i t . The experience i s v i v i d l y present to h i s own.imagination so that the sonnet i s a commentary upon i t ; yet the a c t u a l object i s e i t h e r not present or only vaguely adumbrated, ("Personal Experience," p. 492) P a u l l F r a n k l i n Baum also cautions against a misuse of the biographical method, and i n h i s e d i t i o n of The House  of L i f e he attempts to s t r i k e a b i o - c r i t i c a l balance i n h i s anal y s i s of i n d i v i d u a l poems, In c r i t i c i s m there i s , to be sure, no biographical imperative. But with R o s s e t t i ' s "House of L i f e " there are some grounds f o r -pursuing biography....If we knew Ro s s e t t i ' s l i f e i n s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l , we might hope to f i n d and c i t e chapter and verse f o r each of these moments; though i t i s doubtful i f t h i s would be desirable. But i n the paucity of our knowledge t h i s search i s vain, and per-haps under even i d e a l conditions would be f r u i t l e s s . The a r t i s t i s never the mere auto-biographer; many of h i s f i n e s t moments are the product of h i s "pro j e c t i n g " imagination, and leave the quotidian events of l i f e i r r e v o c a b l y behind, (H.L., p. 6 ) In h i s analysis, Baum singles out those poems which he f e e l s demand biographical i l l u m i n a t i o n , but cautiously avoids courting "the i n e v i t a b l e blunder of a thoroughgoing biographical annotation of the sonnets," (H.L., p, 49) or embroiling himself i n R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e even to the extent of naming the new love whom he r e f e r s to only as the 59 "Innominata." Baum, w r i t i n g i n 1928, was one of the f i r s t c r i t i c s to consider the problem of t h i s other love i n The  House of L i f e and to trace her presence through the o sequence, Of "Heart's Compass" (XXVII), f o r example, he says, "Night's ambiguous a r t " with i t s "gathering clouds" looks l i k e a reference to the s i n i s t e r e f f e c t s of R o s s e t t i ' s insomnia and consequent i l l n e s s ; but i t may be only an elaborate phrase f o r the harshness of l i f e . C e r t a i n l y , the gathering clouds of R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e postdate 1862 [the year of h i s wife's -death], and t h i s love that rends them— i d e a l i z e d as i t i s — m u s t be more than a memory of h i s f i r s t love. (H.L., p. 104) He recognizes, i n " L i f e i n Love" (XXXVI) and "The Love--Moon" (XXXVII), the unmistakable presence of the "Innominata", and sees the s i t u a t i o n i n "Severed Selves" (XL) as "that of R o s s e t t i i n the early years of h i s desperate, t r a g i c a l l y denied love f o r the Innominata. Thus the poem, simple and moving as i t stands, may receive an added poignancy of personal h i s t o r y . " (H.L., p. 122) In The House of L i f e , as i n "The Stream's Secret," Baum recognizes a possible f u s i o n of two loves "not with the view of concealment but f o r the sake of a r t i s t i c blending." (H.L., p. 144) This f u s i o n i s most c l e a r l y seen i n "Without Her" (LIII) and "Hope Overtaken" (XLII) which allow ambiguous biographical readings because they "stand 60 for two different meanings, one l i t e r a l or original, the other deriving from [their] position i n the sequence." (H.L., p. 126) Baum's conclusion that The House of Li f e consists of personal experience modified and reshaped leads him to an essentially balanced crit i c i s m of the work and a reasonable explication of individual sonnets. It i s with the knowledge that Rossetti's sonnets are not merely personal but universal moments that The House  of L i f e must be examined. As Rossetti cautioned, the sequence records " l i f e purely and simply." No matter how personal a poet Rossetti appears to be, how introspective, n a r c i s s i s t i c and egotistical his approach to l i f e , he was f i r s t of a l l an a r t i s t concerned with the creation of good poetry. His poetry may have been inspired by events i n his l i f e , but l i t t l e of i t was dashed off i n the heat of passion. Even a cursory examination of his work, his notebooks, and his l e tters w i l l indicate that most of his poems owe more to "fundamental brainwork" than inspirational frenzy, and that many were reworked andtaltered over a period of years. It seems reasonable to assume that Rossetti attempted to make his l i f e a record of a poetic "philosophy," In fact there i s considerable evidence to suggest that this was precisely his approach to both l i f e and the composition of poetry, Rossetti's attitude toward love and his depiction 61 of i t i n The House of L i f e w i l l i l l u s t r a t e t h i s point. I t i s i n c o r r e c t to assert, as A.C. Benson and others have, that The House of L i f e i s r e a l l y a House of Love, yet love i s undoubtedly the dominating theme of much of the sequence and the foundation f o r a major portion of the "House." Any complete discussion of The House of L i f e must include an examination of Ros s e t t i ' s love i d e a l s ; i t i s not s u f f i c i e n t to merely chronicle h i s love l i f e . As Baum cautions, the love i s , from the s t r i c t l y biographical point of view, not that of the poet f o r one single woman, while from the a r t i s t i c point of view i t i s love simply, without d i s t i n c -t i o n of one or more persons, except i n those few sonnets which concern the c o n f l i c t be-tween h i s love f o r h i s wife and that f o r another, (H.L., pp. 45-46) A number of c r i t i c s have dealt with the plat o n i c q u a l i t y of R o s s e t t i * s ideas on love, and p a r t i c u l a r l y with h i s debt to Dante and the ear l y I t a l i a n poets f o r h i s concept of i d e a l or s p i r i t u a l love. 3P.W. ffiyers, i n h i s essay "Ross e t t i and the R e l i g i o n of Beauty," suggests that R o s s e t t i ' s platonism was b a s i c a l l y a r e a c t i o n against the s c i e n t i f i c age i n which he l i v e d . The i n s t i n c t s which make other men Catholics, R i t u a l i s t s , and Hegelians, have compelled him, too, to seek "the meaning of a l l things that are" elsewhere than i n the behavior of ether and atoms, though we can track h i s r e v e l a t i o n to no source more e x p l i c i t than the look i n a woman's eyes.10 j 62 Thus love, and the contemplation and worship of beauty, "wakes [Rossetti's] soul to enchanting v i s i o n s and s t i r r i n g enterprises," (Bowra, p. 211) R o s s e t t i , l i k e Dante, makes love a p r i n c i p l e of l i f e and goodness, a means by which to take the mystical step from adoration of the p h y s i c a l to adoration of the s p i r i t u a l , But, as Myers warns, "the p a r a l l e l between R o s s e t t i and Dante must not be pushed too f a r . R o s s e t t i i s but as Dante s t i l l i n the selva oscura; he has not sounded h e l l so profoundly, nor mounted into heaven so high." (p. 351) As CM. Bowra observes, "while Dante sees i n love a divine power which brings man nearer to G-od, R o s s e t t i i s content that i t should bring him nearer to beauty." (pp. 210-211) In a s p i r i n g toward the state of i d e a l love, R o s s e t t i never quite releases h i s grasp on p h y s i c a l love, Instead—and herein l i e s the basis of h i s confusion and d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t — h e attempts to fuse the p h y s i c a l and the s p i r i t u a l . His poetry celebrates, as Baum says, "at f i r s t an e c s t a t i c mingling of body and soul, then a confusion of them." (H.L., p. 27) This attempt at fusion, only p a r t l y successful both i n h i s poetry and h i s l i f e , d i s tinguishes him as a p l a t o n i s t and as a poet. Such modified platonism can be seen even i n the e a r l i e s t versions of "The Blessed Damozel," i n which the maiden, although conceived as a s p i r i t u a l "heing, i s 63 described i n human terms even to her bosom which makes "the bar she leaned on warm." "The Blessed Damozel" also provides proof that R o s s e t t i had developed a love i d e a l before he had loved i n f a c t , a perplexing paradox to t h o s e . c r i t i c s who would nonetheless suggest that the damozel was E l i z a b e t h S i d d a l . Again, i t seems more accurate to say that the damozel i n -i s p i r e d E l i z a b e t h Siddal, that the i d e a l coloured the r e a l , rather than the reverse. That R o s s e t t i attempted to make hi s love a f f a i r s accord with a preconceived quasi-platonic idea can be c l e a r l y seen i n h i s attempts to create a medieval, f l e s h l e s s madonna of E l i z a b e t h Siddal, who became instead a mental and emotional wreck, or of Jane Morris who, as Graham Robertson says, seemed l e s s than comfortable i n her r o l e . She was a Ladye i n a Bower, an ensorcelled Princess, a Blessed Damozel, while I f e e l sure she would, have preferred to be a "bright, chatty l i t t l e woman" i n request f o r small theatre p a r t i e s and afternoons up the river.11 The d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t and despair which colour so much of Ro s s e t t i ' s poetry and which plagued him i n h i s l i f e can be only p a r t l y explained as the e f f e c t s of one p a r t i c u l a r love a f f a i r . Any attempt to create r e a l i t y from an i d e a l i s destined, i f not to f a i l , at l e a s t to produce only 64 p a r t l y s a t i s f a c t o r y r e s u l t s , When the process concerns love and women, and when the man i n question sees love as a major force i n h i s l i f e , the r e s u l t s can be disastrous. To see a woman as a madonna, chaste and unapproachable, and yet to desire her; to plead that s p i r i t u a l and p h y s i c a l love are irrevocably united, and yet to f e e l desire wane as the love i s embalmed i n a l o v e l e s s marriage; to re-create the dream i n another love, and to see i t also f a l l short of p e r f e c t i o n , confined and degraded by both a m o r a l i s t i c society and a personal g u i l t which never hindered the medieval l o v e r — s u c h are the paradoxes which characterized R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e . His attempts to resolve these paradoxes created by 'his i d e a l i s m — o n the one hand, tenaciously to maintain a f u s i o n between i d e a l and r e a l ; on the other, to separate the disparate parts, the body's beauty from the soul's beauty—proved unsuccessful i n h i s l i f e . In h i s poetry, the paradoxes though equally strong seemed l e s s ominous; here R o s s e t t i could to some extent create h i s own world, r e j e c t i n g r e a l i t y where i t seemed to contradict h i s i d e a l s . Even i n t h i s s p e c i a l world of poetry, however, l i f e was imperfect, though more s a t i s f a c t o r y than r e a l i t y . The House of L i f e , then, might well have been b u i l t , not haphazardly from frozen moments i n a l i f e , but care-f u l l y from a preconceived i f imperfect plan. The l i f e i t s e l f , 65 the moments of love and despair, were f i t t e d i n -to form, i f not an a r c h i t e c t u r a l whole, at l e a s t a structure with some semblance of unity. Or to put i t more p l a i n l y , The  House of L i f e i s not a biographical but an imaginative record. One cannot approach each sonnet or-the whole as autobiography because R o s s e t t i used events i n h i s l i f e only to i l l u s t r a t e a set of poetic ideas, He did not hes i t a t e to prune and d i s t o r t the l i f e to make i t f i t the ideas. A comparison of the Kelmscott sonnets with t h e i r a l t e r e d versions i n the 1881 House of L i f e provides an example of just such pruning and d i s t o r t i n g . John Robert Wahl con-siders e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t the change made i n the t i t l e and text of some of the sonnets to include the word "youth," and the l i n e s a l t e r e d to include the word "gold" i n des-12 c r i p t i o n s of the loved one's h a i r . These changes, con-cludes Wahl, i n d i c a t e a desire to make the reader think that the subject i s E l i z a b e t h Siddal and that the sonnets were written much e a r l i e r than 1871. The conclusion i s reasonable but not ne c e s s a r i l y f i n a l . I t seems equally reasonable to assert that R o s s e t t i made these changes to add unity to the love sonnets i n general. In the octave of "Love Enthroned" ( I ) , i t s e l f a Kelmscott sonnet and the one f i n a l l y chosen to introduce the sequence, the poet l i s t s those things p r i z e d i n l i f e , although p r i z e d l e s s 66 than love i t s e l f , Among these, he records, ,.,Youth, with s t i l l some single golden h a i r Unto h i s shoulder c l i n g i n g , since the l a s t Embrace wherein two sweet arms held him fast..-,. [11. 5-7] Youth and the immediate experience of love are but a phase i n the l a r g e r structure of l i f e , a phase which w i l l be recorded i n the subsequent sequence. The loved one, though she changes i n r e a l l i f e , and though as Miss Siddal she i s blond, as Mrs, Morris brunette, maintains i n the sequence golden h a i r , f o r here she i s merely the represent-ative love or the symbol of the experience of love, I t matters l i t t l e that the poems concerning her were written to Mrs, Morris at Kelmscott or to Miss Siddal i n London: i n the sequence, they are i n s p i r e d by only one—the loved one—and any di s t u r b i n g contradictions i n d e s c r i p t i o n w i l l be resolved. To presume that an underlying set of i d e a l s or ideas both u n i f i e s and depersonalizes The House of L i f e i s to presume that the sonnet sequence follows some pattern i n depi c t i n g a view of l i f e and love. On t h i s p a r t i c u l a r point there e x i s t s considerable disagreement among the c r i t i c s . A few state that The House of L i f e has no under-l y i n g pattern, but t h e i r statements are frequently s e l f -67 -contradictory and confusing, W. B a s i l Worsfold, f o r example, concludes that The House of L i f e i s a "mere sonnet--sequence—a s e r i e s of i n d i v i d u a l l y perfect hut e n t i r e l y i n -dependent pieces.""^ A.C. Benson observes that the work " i s i n e f f e c t a sort of commentary on l i f e as R o s s e t t i conceived i t , and there i s a c e r t a i n evolution of experience throught-out." But he adds that i t " i s not constructed on a d e f i n i t e plan: the mss., which I have c a r e f u l l y studied, bear witness to the perpetual a l t e r a t i o n s and rearrangements which took place before the eventual p u b l i c a t i o n , and reveal how hard a task i t was f o r R o s s e t t i to s a t i s f y himself." (Rossetti, p. 130) Most frequently, the c r i t i c s conclude that, although R o s s e t t i seemed to have a general plan i n mind, the end product i s .imperfect and fragmentary, O l i v e r E l t o n says, f o r example, that a kind of plan may be traced i n [the sequence], or rather a procession of the three f i g u r e s Love, Death, and Hope. Love at f i r s t triumphs, so that Hope i s at f i r s t needless. Later, Hope i s clouded with fear and foretaste of Death, who at l a s t seizes the beloved. This s e r i e s , though, i s interrupted by many digr e s s i o n s . 1 4 Mary Suddard contends that the 1870 v e r s i o n displays some semblance of a framework; " i t s outlines are already drawn a l b e i t with an unsteady hand..,,The poem i s vaguely divided t?/o parts, the one devoted to the story which properly speak-ing forms i t s subject, the second to the speculations to which i t gives r i s e i n the poet's soul." By 1881, "the f r a g -ments have f a l l e n into l i n e i n a ser i e s ; the poem, as to construction, forms a complete whole," but, adds Miss Suddard, t h i s v e r s i o n shows a greater unevenness i n s t y l e 15 and thematic unity, R.L. Megroz, who sees The House of l i f e as a kind of p r o j e c t i o n of the poet's inner l i f e , observes, f o r complete f u l f i l l m e n t he needed to combine i n one work sensuous f e e l i n g , s p i r i t u a l passion, and i n t e l l e c t u a l contemplation. He does i t f i t f u l l y i n The House of l i f e , but he needed a d i f f e r e n t framework, more l i k e the Shakespearean drama, perhaps, than Dante's i n the Divine Comedy..,,In The House of L i f e he made h i s greatest e f f o r t to r e c o n c i l e con-f l i c t i n g elements i n himself, and he nearly succeeded i n doing the impossible, and mak-ing a single poem out of 102 sonnets."16 CM. Bowra f e e l s that The House of L i f e i s not, " s t r i c t l y speaking" a sonnet sequence; i t d i f f e r s from Elizabethan s e r i e s " i n which a kind of story, whether r e a l or f i c -t i t i o u s , i s presented," and from V i c t o r i a n sequences which recorded c r i s e s i n the poet's l i f e , (p, 202) Ro s s e t t i ' s sonnets r e f l e c t not a c r i s i s but a l i f e t i m e , and through them he t e l l s what h i s most e n t h r a l l i n g discoveries have been..,,The House of  L i f e i s a unity because i t r e f l e c t s a consistent and c l o s e l y k n i t p e rsonality and shows i t s progress along a c l e a r l y marked path, I t needs no story to hold i t together, and, because i t has no story, i t i s a l l the more impressive as a personal record, (p, 203) 68 This c r i t i c a l disagreement i s understandable i n view of the complexity and obscurity of i n d i v i d u a l sonnets, as well as the absence of any concrete statements from R o s s e t t i concerning the structure of the whole. As Swinburne observed i n Essays and Studies, The House of L i f e "has so many mansions, so many h a l l s of state and bowers of music, chapels f o r worship and chambers f o r f e s t i v a l that no guest 17 can declare on a f i r s t entrance the secret of i t s scheme," Moreover, the problem of discovering a plan to The House 1 of'' L i f e has been hindered rather than helped by the biographi-c a l approach. Preoccupation with dates of composition of sonnets, with the subjects of the love sonnets, or with biographical a l l u s i o n s i n general w i l l n e c e s s a r i l y impede any attempt to see The House of L i f e as an organized whole, since the sequence of sonnets i n no way follows e i t h e r the sequence of composition or of events i n Ros s e t t i ' s l i f e . I f any conscious plan f o r The House of L i f e i s to be d i s -covered, i t w i l l be done not by approaching the sequence as a biograp h i c a l document, but by t r a c i n g the growth of The House of L i f e from i t s e a r l i e s t embryonic stages to i t s f i n a l form i n 1881. The sixteen sonnets published i n the F o r t n i g h t l y 1 ft Review i n 1869 indicate that even at t h i s time R o s s e t t i had some notion of grouping the sonnets he had'written 69 o v e r a f i f t e e n y e a r p e r i o d . T h a t t h e y a r e g a t h e r e d t o -g e t h e r u n d e r a g e n e r a l t i t l e , " O f L i f e , L o v e a n d D e a t h , " a n d t h a t t h e W i l l o w w o o d s o n n e t s w h i c h h e a d t h e s e r i e s seem t o h a v e b e e n composed s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r t h i s o c c a s i o n s u g g e s t . t h a t t h i s i s more t h a n a r a n d o m s e l e c t i o n , A n e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l s o n n e t s w i l l show t h a t a c e r t a i n t h e m a t i c s t r u c t u r e i s i n t e n d e d , D o u g l a s J. R o b i l l a r d s u g g e s t s n o t o n l y t h a t t h e F o r t n i g h t l y R e v i e w s e l e c t i o n i s a g e r m i n a l v e r s i o n o f The H o u s e o f L i f e b u t ' t h a t t h e W i l l o w w o o d s o n n e t s w h i c h d o m i n a t e t h e g r o u p a l s o f o r m t h e t h e m a t i c c o r e o f t h e f i n a l s e q u e n c e , a c t i n g " a s a p i v o t o n w h i c h t h e w h o l e s t r u c t u r e t u r n s . " T h e s e s i x -t e e n s o n n e t s , s a y s R o b i l l a r d , c o m p r i s e " a s e q u e n c e e x p r e s s -i n g g r i e f a n d , more e s p e c i a l l y , r e m o r s e a n d g u i l t a t t h e p o e t ' s w a s t e o f t h e o p p o r t u n i t i e s o f f e r e d h i m b y L i f e a n d L o v e . " B u t t h i s v e r s i o n i s " t o o t r u n c a t e d , t o o c o n c e r n e d w i t h one e m o t i o n " t o be c o n s i d e r e d a c o m p l e t e s e q u e n c e . " I n s t e a d o f d e v e l o p i n g s l o w l y , w i t h p r o p e r f o r e b o d i n g s , t o t h e d e a t h o f t h e b e l o v e d , t h i s v e r s i o n t h r u s t s u s I Q d r a m a t i c a l l y i n t o t h e s i t u a t i o n . " 5 I t i s s u r p r i s i n g t h a t t h e s e s o n n e t s " O f L i f e , L o v e a n d D e a t h " h a v e n o t b e e n e x a m i n e d b i o g r a p h i c a l l y s i n c e t h e y c o m p r i s e what i s p r o b a b l y a n a c c u r a t e r e c o r d o f R o s s e t t i 1 s m e n t a l a n d e m o t i o n a l s t a t e i n 1 8 6 9 . C u r i o u s l y e n o u g h , 70 i t i s p a r t l y t h r o u g h a b i o g r a p h i c a l i n r e a d i n g t h a t t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h i s s e r i e s i n t o t h e 1870 v e r s i o n w i l l b e m o s t c l e a r l y s e e n . T h e k e y s o n n e t o f t h e W i l l o w w o o d g r o u p , w h i c h R o b i l l a r d c o r r e c t l y c o n s i d e r s t h e t h e m a t i c c e n t e r o f t h e s e r i e s , i s t h e t h i r d , L o v e ' s s o n g : " A l l y e w h o s u f f e r f r o m u n s a t i s f i e d L o v e , h o w l o n g i s t h e n i g h t e r e y e s h a l l a g a i n b e h o l d t h e d a y ? A l a s t h a t y o u r s o u l s m a y n o t d i e , r a t h e r t h a n w a n d e r i n W i l l o w w o o d . " ( H . L . , p . 141) A l t h o u g h b i o g r a p h i c a l c r i t i c s m a y a t t e m p t t o d i s -c o v e r t h e o b j e c t o f t h i s u n s a t i s f i e d l o v e , i t s e e m s r e a s o n a b l e t o c o n c l u d e t h a t L o v e i n g e n e r a l i s r e f e r r e d t o . B i o g r a p h y w i l l b e a r o u t t h i s c o n c l u s i o n . B y 1869, R o s s e t t i ' s l o v e l i f e h a d r e a c h e d b o t h i t s n a d i r a n d t u r n i n g p o i n t . H i s l o v e f o r E l i z a b e t h S i d d a l h a d b e c o m e l i t t l e m o r e t h a n a m e m o r y . I n t e r m i t t e n t a f f a i r s w i t h o t h e r w o m e n a n d t h e c o m f o r t a b l e l i a i s o n w i t h E a n n y C o r n f o r t h d i d l i t t l e t o s u s t a i n h i s p l a t o n i c i d e a l s o f p e r f e c t a n d e v e r l a s t i n g l o v e . T h e i m p e n d i n g a f f a i r w i t h J a n e M o r r i s w a s i n i t s e m b r y o n i c s t a g e s o r s t i l l t o c o m e , p r o v i d i n g R o s s e t t i c o u l d r i d h i m -s e l f o f i n d e c i s i o n a n d f e a r a b o u t t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f s u c h a n a s s o c i a t i o n . A t t h i s m o m e n t , t h e p a s t s e e m e d a l o n g r e - . c o r d o f p o i n t l e s s e n t e r p r i s e s a n d f u t i l e d r e a m s ; t h e f u t u r e l o o m e d u n p r e d i c t a b l e a n d , p e r h a p s , w i t h o u t h o p e . W i t h o u t a v i s i o n o f l o v e t o s u s t a i n h i m , o r a n o b j e c t f o r t h i s l o v e , 71 R o s s e t t i ' s confidence and sense of purpose deserted him. R o b i l l a r d suggests that the F o r t n i g h t l y Review sonnets record a turning point, and sees an analogy with Section 95 of In Memoriam. "And i f the analogy holds, R o s s e t t i ' s poem, l i k e Tennyson's should take a turning a f t e r t h i s scene and begin to suggest ways out of the. poet's dilemma." (Rob,, p. 6) However, to see these sixteen sonnets as an a r t i s t i c a l l y ordered biographical or emotional record i s not to suggest that the expanded 1870 and 1881 versions o f f e r s i m i l a r analogies. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , of these sixteen sonnets, only the Willowwood group and three others dealing s p e c i f i c a l l y with love were placed i n Part One of the 1881 House of L i f e ; those relegated to Part Two are, l i k e the others i n t h i s section, more general and retrospective i n t h e i r themes, Even by 1870, the order of the F o r t n i g h t l y  Review sonnets had been quite r a d i c a l l y a l t e r e d . A com-parison of these sonnets with e i t h e r l a t e r version w i l l i n d i c a t e that R o s s e t t i gradually expanded h i s personal l i f e i n t o the general l i f e which the f i n a l House of L i f e depicts. S i m i l a r conclusions can be drawn'from a comparison of the Kelmscott sonnets with the 1881 House of L i f e . Again, an a r t i s t i c a l l y arranged personal record was rearranged and d i s t o r t e d , to be incorporated into the general l i f e depicted 72 i n 1881, Several f a c t o r s suggest that the Kelmscott sonnets have been arranged i n a sequence. The album con-t a i n i n g the sonnets i s obviously a f a i r copy, not a note-20 book containing a random c o l l e c t i o n . I t seems more than mere coincidence that the f i r s t sonnet of the group, "Heart's Hope" (V) was apparently considered f o r the f i r s t p o s i t i o n i n The House of L i f e , (H.L., p. 72) and that the second, "Love Enthroned" a c t u a l l y headed the f i n a l v ersion. A comparison of these two sonnets indicates not only the theme and plan of the Kelmscott group but the enlarged scope of the 1881 House of L i f e , that i s , the subordination of a s p e c i f i c love to l i f e and love i n general. "Heart's Hope" has as i t s subject a p a r t i c u l a r love whom the poet praises, a love whom he would make the sum and substance of a l l loves. This p a r t i c u l a r love i s the subject of the Kelmscott sonnets, "Love Enthroned" deals rather with love i n general, love removed from a s p e c i f i c object whose throne i s f a r above l i f e ' s other goals and pr i z e s . This love i s one of the subjects and u n i f y i n g f a c t o r s of the f i n a l House of L i f e . The knowledge that the Kelmscott sonnets were written during the time when R o s s e t t i was involved with Jane Morris helps to substantiate the claim that they are a per-sonal record of a s p e c i f i c love. In f a c t , they follow quite 73 l o g i c a l l y upon the e a r l i e r personal record, the F o r t n i g h t l y  Review sonnets. The l a s t poeia of that group, "Newborn Death" (XCLX and C) consider death as the possible s o l u t i o n to the poet's dilemma. The t h i r d Kelmscott sonnet, a f t e r the announcement of the theme i n the f i r s t two, again deals with death; here the poet claims that love has rescued him from death. I t i s followed by "Love's F a t a l i t y " (LIT) i n which Love, free and happy i n i t s e l f , i s compared with Loving Desire which y i e l d s only misery and bondage. This i s followed by "Hope Overtaken" (XLII) celebr a t i n g the regeneration of hope; then three p r a i s i n g the loved one's beauty (XXXI, X V I I I , ' XVII); "Between Kisses" ("Mid Rap-ture," XXVI) which, as Baum says, not only records a moment of love, but marks the midpoint of the a f f a i r ; (H.L., p.- 102) then "The Dark G l a s s " . ( X X X I V ) which, i n claim-ing that love aids the poet i n penetrating the unknowable, shows R o s s e t t i moving i n a p l a t o n i c fashion from the con-templation of s p e c i f i c love and beauty to the i d e a l forms. The next three sonnets (XXVII, XXVIII, XXXII) are s i m i l a r l y p l a t o n i c i n theme, The next, "Heart's Haven" (XXII), which t e l l s how the l o v e r s protect each other from the sorrows of l i f e , i s followed by "Without Her" ( L I I ) , a cry of l o s s f o r the beloved, The next eight sonnets record moments of love, some with a carpe diem motif, some coloured with doubts and 74 f e a r s f o r the future; they constitute a kind of n a r r a t i v e of the love a f f a i r . The s e r i e s ends with sonnet (XL), i n mid-air i f much i s made of the o r i g i n a l . t i t l e , "Between Meetings," or quite appropriately i f , as the l a t e r t i t l e , "Severed Selves" more c l e a r l y suggests, the a f f a i r i s ended, A l l the Kelmscott sonnets subsequently appeared i n Part One of the 1881 House of L i f e , that i s , i n the sect i o n devoted to love, but R o s s e t t i o b l i t e r a t e d the na r r a t i v e pattern of t h i s s e r i e s by considerable rearrangement. The F o r t n i g h t l y Review sonnets and the Kelmscott sonnets are u s e f u l , then, i n i n d i c a t i n g that R o s s e t t i used h i s own l i f e , as recorded i n these two se r i e s , to create The House  of L i f e , and more important, that he transformed the l i f e as evidenced by the incorporation of the two serie s into the f i n a l version, not as u n i t s , but piecemeal and only a f t e r considerable rearrangement. However, i f these two groups and t h e i r incorporation into The House of Life suggest that R o s s e t t i had a scheme i n mind, the scheme i t -s e l f i s s t i l l not c l e a r l y d i s c e r n i b l e , The key to the arrangement of sonnets must be sought i n an examination of the 1870 version and p a r t i c u l a r l y of the f i n a l 1881 House of  L i f e i t s e l f . R o b i l l a r d , who considers the F o r t n i g h t l y Review sonnets a germinal version of The House of L i f e , f e e l s that by 1870 the poem "has now evolved into a cycle, much more 75 v a r i e d and complicated than the 1869 sequence." (Rob., p. 6) He uses the term "cycle" since he sees the work as c o n s i s t -ing of a number of thematic u n i t s grouped around the 21 Willowwood sonnets which now hold a c e n t r a l p o s i t i o n . (24-27) The structure of the whole i s tightened by the use of imagery dealing with l i f e , love, death, and b i r t h , and by the balancing of sonnets on e i t h e r side of the Willow-wood group. Thus "A Day of Love" (12) i s balanced^by "A Dark Day" (32), "The Birth-Bond" (11) by "Newborn Death" (48), (49), and "Broken Music (22) by "Death's Songsters" (41). Further, "love, l i f e and death conjoin i n Willowwood as i f the center of the poem i s also i t s c e n t r a l point of g r a v i t y , " The 1881 House of L i f e , according to R o b i l l a r d , i s an expansion of the 1870 v e r s i o n with c e r t a i n gaps being f i l l e d to expand the theme or to provide mechanical balance. Part One i s lengthened to include the new love sonnets i n s p i r e d by the second love a f f a i r , Part Two seems a kind of "grabbag s t u f f e d with whatever Rossetti' had i n the way of l e f t o v e r s , " (Rob., pp. 7, 8) A number of c r i t i c s share R o b i l l a r d ' s view that, although the 1881 House of L i f e i s e s s e n t i a l l y an expansion of the 1870 structure, i t i s l e s s u n i f i e d as a sequence. Baum sees the 1881 version as a compromise. Ro s s e t t i ' s note to the 1870 poem stated that "the f i r s t twenty-eight 76 sonnets and the seven f i r s t songs tr e a t of love, These and others would belong to separate sections of the pro-jected work." "Apparently," says Baum, "there was to be a s e c t i o n devoted to love, and others to other t o p i c s . " (H.I., p. 36) The f i n a l v e r s i o n of The House of L i f e , he concludes, i s a s e r i e s rather than a c l o s e l y - k n i t sequence; i t i s the r e s u l t of no " d i s t i n c t or emphatic p r i n c i p l e of grouping." (H.I., p. 37) However, Baud's summary of The  House of l i f e does suggest a pattern, a l b e i t general. Part One " i s c h i e f l y devoted to Love...but contains one other motif, the poet's insomnia and remorse, i n 'Sleepless Dreams' (XXXIX), to be echoed again i n LXII; yet t h i s sonnet i s c l o s e l y l i n k e d i n tone with the preceding (love-) sonnet, and the two together form a kind of i n t r o d u c t i o n to the Despair-Hope-Love motif of the succeeding stanzas," Part Two i s more varied, "a loose group i l l u s t r a t i n g the Many-sidedness of l i f e , " (H.L., p. 39) Continuity from Part One i s provided by the themes of Change and Pate. "The Change had already urged i t s e l f i n t o the story of Part I; now i t expands ominously into Pate." (H.I., p. 41) Baum sees i n the poem " a kind of unity of time of composition, and cer-t a i n l y a unity of tone," but adds that " i t has l i t t l e unity of a formal kind; on the contrary, i t s unity i s the unity of R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e . " (H.I., p. 44) The poem i s fused together 77 by the r e p e t i t i o n of c e r t a i n l e i t motifs, "the passion of love, both human and mystical; indulgence and adoration; premonition of separation and of death; love won but f r u s -t r a t e ; sleepless despair over a l i f e m islived, hopes u n f u l -f i l l e d , e f f o r t unrewarded or unexerted; selfdoubt and achievement; longing f o r death; questionings of the future l i f e ; the one f a i n t hope." (H.L., p. 46) The House of L i f e , Baum concludes, i s "the record of a s e r i e s of 'crises* "; i t i s "incomplete as any other single representation of l i f e i s incomplete." (H.L., p. 35) According to R o s s e t t i , the 1870 v e r s i o n of the sequence i s an unfinished work, a group of sonnets and songs "Towards a Work to be c a l l e d The House of L i f e . " I t i s , then,merely a germinal v e r s i o n of the f i n a l 1881 sequence. Curiously enough, i f the 1870 sequence i s divided i n t o two equal parts, i t begins to resemble the two groups of sonnets just discussed, I f the sequence i s broken at the f i r s t Willow-wood sonnet (24), what emerges are two sets of sonnets, the f i r s t resembling the Kelmscott group i n thematic design, although, of course, i t includes no Kelmscott sonnets; the second, s t i l l beginning with the Willowwood sonnets, r e -sembles the F o r t n i g h t l y Review group i n theme but i s ex-panded to include other sonnets of a s i m i l a r nature. The f i r s t set creates a f a i r l y u n i f i e d n a r r a t i v e : " B r i d a l 78 B i r t h " ( l ) deals with the b i r t h of love, "Love's Redemption" (2) with the power of Love to redeem the soul from H e l l , "Lovesight" (3) with the worship of love through the loved one, and premonitions of the future. The next four sonnets, c e l e b r a t i n g p h y s i c a l love, are followed by-several, frequently p l a t o n i c i n tone, sometimes coloured with fear, i n which the progress of love i s commemorated. The sonnets a f t e r "Life-in-Love" ( 1 6 ) become more g r i e f -s t r i c k e n i n tone; separation i s indicated in- "Parted Love" (21) and "Broken Music" ( 2 2 ) , and the desire f o r death mentioned i n "Death-in-Love" ( 2 3 ) . This poem provides the l i n k with the next group, the theme of which, l i k e that of the F o r t n i g h t l y Review group, concerns despair over a wasted l i f e l eading u l t i m a t e l y to a desire f o r death. Unlike the F o r t n i g h t l y sonnets, t h i s group ends, on a more or l e s s hopeful note with "The One Hope" ( 5 0 ) . The p a r a l l e l s be-tween the 1870 v e r s i o n and the two groups of sonnets are general, but t h e i r themes are too analogous to be dismissed as merely c o i n c i d e n t a l . That the f i r s t twenty-three sonnets of the 1870 sequence c l o s e l y resemble the Eelms-cott group seems strange, but again biography serves to i n -dicate how R o s s e t t i has adapted h i s l i f e to f i t an a r t i s t i c scheme, Most of the twenty-three sonnets were written between 1868 and 1870; many of the F o r t n i g h t l y Review 79 sonnets were written between 1868 and 1869; and, of course, the Kelmscott group were composed i n the summer of 1871* This four-year period, however p o e t i c a l l y pro-ductive-,^ was perhaps the most emotionally chaotic i n R o s s e t t i 1 s l i f e . The depression, i l l n e s s , and desire f o r death which marked h i s l i f e i n 1868 and which were recorded i n the F o r t n i g h t l y Review sonnets, were only f i t f u l l y a l l a y e d by the "regenerate rapture" of h i s new love, i t s e l f a f r u s t r a t i n g and e r r a t i c a f f a i r . The ensuing years brought moments of love and ecstasy such as were recorded i n i n -d i v i d u a l sonnets of the 1870 sequence and i n the Kelmscott group, but they were punctuated by period of separation i n which R o s s e t t i could revert to despair and depression now i n t e n s i f i e d by the v i c i s s i t u d e s of a clandestine a f f a i r . Yet, i n the 1870 poem, to some extent i n the Kelmscott group, and most obviously i n the 1881 House of L i f e , R o s s e t t i attempted to order the chaos of r e a l i t y by group-ing into thematic patterns sonnets written at various times, The e r r a t i c heights and depths of h i s l i f e became transposed into a more gradual, though no l e s s irrevocable journey from love to despair, or from love, through change, to f a t e . The f i r s t twenty-three sonnets of the 1870 poem resemble the Kelmscott sonnets p r i m a r i l y since both have been arranged to accord with a preconceived a r t i s t i c idea, 80 although, as suggested e a r l i e r , the Kelmscott sonnets possess a greater immediacy and are b i o g r a p h i c a l l y more s p e c i f i c , S i g n i f i c a n t l y , i n the 1870 poem and a l l l a t e r versions, the love poems precede the despair poems, an arrangement which i s almost the reverse of biographical f a c t . Thus, the ultimate pattern of The House of L i f e i s c l e a r l y v i s i b l e i n the 1870 version, but i t i s not the pattern of events i n R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e , Moreover, as R o b i l l a r d points out, the pattern i n 1870 i s s k e l e t a l , the t r a n s i t i o n from phase to phase i n the sequence frequently abrupt. The poet begins with love i n general and i t s fu n c t i o n i n h i s l i f e ; then he considers one s p e c i f i c love and i t s value i n e l e v a t i n g h i s soul and making h i s l i f e worthwhile. The o l d love abruptly becomes the new love who just as abruptly departs l e a v i n g him sorrowing i n Willowwood, sustained only by the hope that h i s love w i l l be con-summated i n e t e r n i t y . Plagued by doubt, he begins to review h i s l i f e , s p e c i f i c a l l y h i s career, almost decides that h i s have been t r u l y wasted days and that death i s the only s o l u t i o n to h i s problem, when at l a s t he decides that there i s hope, and on t h i s note, the sequence ends. 81 FOOTNOTES 1 . "Rossetti's House of L i f e , " Modern Philology, v o l . 15 (September 1 9 1 7 ) , 2 5 8 . 2 . See The C o l l e c t e d Works of Dante_Gabriel R o s s e t t i , ed. W.M. R o s s e t t i , I (London: E l l i s , 1556J ; W.M. R o s s e t t i , Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i as Designer and Writer (London: C a s s e l l and Co.", 1889j; Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i : His  Family L e t t e r s , with a Memoir, ed, W.M. R o s s e t t i , 2 v o l s . (London: E l l i s , 1 « 9 5 ) ; The Works of Dante  Ga b r i e l R o s s e t t i , ed, W.M. R o s s e t t i (London: E l l i s , 19117: : — , 3 . "Personal Experience i n R o s s e t t i ' s 'House of L i f e * , " P u b l i c a t i o n s of the Modern Language-Association, v o l . 4 2 (June 1 9 2 7 ) , 4 9 2 - 5 0 4 . 4 . Sonnets XV, XLVII (although 1 8 6 9 i s a more l i k e l y date of composition, See Appendix), LXV, LXVII, LXVIII, LXIX, LXX, LXXI, LXXII, LXXIII, LXXIV,, LXXV, LXXVI, XCI. 5 . D.G.R. as Designer and Writer, p. 2 5 2 . 6. Dante Gabr i e l R o s s e t t i , The House of L i f e , ed. P.F. Baum (Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 2 8 ) , p. 168. Hereafter r e f e r r e d to as H.L. 7 . "The House of L i f e , " i n The Romantic Imagination (Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 4 9 ) , p. 2 0 3 . 8 . F.M. T i s d e l noted her presence i n 1 9 1 7 , but h i s c r i t i c i s m and dating do not r e f l e c t a knowledge of her i d e n t i t y or her f u n c t i o n i n the sequence, 9' R o s s e t t i ( E n g l i s h Men of Lett e r s ) (London: Macmillan, 1 9 0 4 ) , p. 1 2 9 . 1 0 . The B i b e l o t , VIII, no, 1 0 (October 1 9 0 2 ) , 3 6 4 . 11. *The S p e l l of R o s s e t t i , " Time Was: Reminiscences (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1 9 3 1 ) , p. 9 4 . 1 2 . The Kelmscott Love Sonnets of Dante Gabr i e l R o s s e t t i . 82 ed. John Robert Wahl (Capetown: A.A. Balkema, 1954) , Intro,, ix-x, "Yough's Antiphony" (XIII) had o r i g i n a l l y been e n t i t l e d "Love's Antiphony," and l i n e s nine to ten had been a l t e r e d to include the word "youth," "Youth's Spring Tribute" (XIV) had o r i g i n a l l y been e n t i t l e d "Spring Tribute." In XIV, " r i p p l i n g tresses" became "golden tresses"; i n XXXI, "deep locks" became "deep golden locks"; and i n XXXIII, "deep--shadowed" became "gold-shadowed." 13 . "The Poetry of D.C R o s s e t t i , " The Nineteenth Century XXIV (August 1893) , 286. 14. A Survey of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , 1830-1880, I I (London: Arnold, 1 9 2 0 J , 10. 15. "The House of L i f e , " Keats, Shelley, and Shakespeare: Studies and Essays i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e (Cambridge: Un i v e r s i t y Press, 1912) , pp. 275, 277-278. 16. Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i : Painter Poet of Heaven i n Earth (London: Paber, 1928), p. 306. 17. Essays and Studies (London: Chatto and Windus, 1901) , p. 64. 18. "Of L i f e , Love, and Death: Sixteen Sonnets," F o r t n i g h t l y Review, v o l , 11, n.s. 5(March 1869), 266-273. See Appendix f o r the order of these sonnets... 19. "Rossetti's 'Willowwood' Sonnets and the Structure of the House^of Life,•" The-Victorian Newsletter, no, 22 ( F a l l 1962), pp. 6-7" Hereafter r e f e r r e d to as Rob. 20. See Wahl's des c r i p t i o n , Intro, i x . See Appendix f o r order of-these Sonnets. 21. R o b i l l a r d provides a very sketchy ou t l i n e of the structure as he sees i t , p. 7. Arabic numbers r e f e r to 1870 version. See Appendix f o r the order of sonnets. The development of the F o r t n i g h t l y Review sonnets into the 1870 v e r s i o n i s d i f f i c u l t to trace, See Janet Camp T r o x e l l , "The ' T r i a l Books' of D.G. R o s s e t t i , " Colophon, n.s. I l l (Spring 1938), 243-258. See also T i s d e i : ' CHAPTER POUR THE CYCLES OP THE HOUSE OP LIPE: A TENTATIVE- READING The 1881 House of L i f e maintains the general pattern of the 1870 poem, with the two d i v i s i o n s depicting love and f a t e now emphatically separated into.two parts, "Youth and Change," and "Change and Pate." The f i f t y - o n e sonnets added to the sequence provide not merely "mechanical balance," as R o b i l l a r d concludes, but strength and dimension to the e x i s t i n g pattern, Further, by 1881, The House of  L i f e has shed most of i t s biographical trappings to become a poem of considerably more i n t e g r a l unity than most c r i t i c s have allowed i t . R o b i l l a r d ' s t h e s i s that The House of  L i f e i s not a sequence but a cycle provides an important key to the pattern of the poem. I f i t i s presumed that a sequence must progress n a r r a t i v e l y or thematically along a horizontal;plane to a r e s o l u t i o n , The House of L i f e i s c e r t a i n l y not a sequence, and c r i t i c s are correct i n saying that i t lacks unity. Par from moving forward to a r e s o l u -83 84 t i o n , The House of L i f e seems rather to meander hack and f o r t h , covering the same ground over and over i n i t s d e p i c t i o n of l i f e , love, and death. R o b i l l a r d 1 s analysis of the poem as a cycle of sonnets moving around a pivot provided by the Willowwood group accounts f o r neither t h i s e r r a t i c progression nor f o r the two-part d i v i s i o n of the poem. However,^ i f The House of L i f e i s seen as a s e r i e s of cycles, or a s p i r a l development, moving from love to f a t e , both c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the poem can be accounted f o r . In "The Heart of the Night" (LXVT), the poet reviews h i s l i f e : Prom c h i l d to youth; from youth to arduous man; Prom lethargy to fever of the heart; Prom f a i t h f u l l i f e to dream-dowered days apart; Prom t r u s t to doubt; from doubt to brink of b a n ; — Thus much of change i n one swift cycle ran T i l l now. [11. 1-6] The "one swift cycle" notwithstanding, t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n suggests that R o s s e t t i saw h i s l i f e as a s e r i e s of stages moving within the l a r g e r cycle from b i r t h to death. The c y c l i c a l stages of l i f e are even more c l e a r l y suggested i n "Barren Spring" (LXXXIII) which, l i k e many of the House of  L i f e sonnets, uses seasonal change to symbolize the passing of l i f e . In saying that "the.changed year's turning wheel returns" [ l . 1] bringing Spring, R o s s e t t i i s not merely 85 being poetic; each return of Spring to The House of L i f e , whether i t marks the return of love, or as i n t h i s sonnet, merely the renewal of despair, signals the beginning of a new cycle i n the gradual s p i r a l toward death. This c y c l i c a l pattern i s f u r t h e r emphasized by imagery of l i g h t and dark, day and night, and by recurrent symbolic use of b i r t h and r e b i r t h . Each cycle i n The House of L i f e to some extent resembles i t s predecessor i n theme and ground covered, but each adds a new dimension to the material, a new, more mature perspective. The c y c l i c a l groups i n Part One emphasize love, each cycle d e p i c t i n g a phase of love, each phase bringing change, u n t i l f i n a l l y love disappears a l t o -gether, Part Two continues the pattern with l i f e and f a t e as the p r i n c i p a l themes; each changing cycle c a r r i e s the poet c l o s e r to death which f i n a l l y i s reached i n the l a s t cycle of the poem, "The One Hope" (CI) may be an epilogue to the whole, or the f i r s t step of a new cycle moving t o -ward i n f i n i t y . The poet being mortal, t h i s l a s t cycle, or f i r s t stage of an immortal s p i r a l , w i l l n e c e s s a r i l y remain unfinished."^ No precise demarcation can be made between the i n d i v i d u a l cycles comprising The House of L i f e as each cycle flows from the l a s t and merges with the next i n an unbroken s p i r a l . However, the stages can be approximately distinguished by 86 imagery, themes, and hy the punctuation provided hy c e r t a i n sonnets which mark a pause i n the movement and which f r e -quently announce the theme of an ensuing c y c l e . What emerges i s a s e r i e s of ten cycles, each containing from eight to eleven sonnets, Part One contains s i x cycles, Part Two contains four, and both parts are introduced by a sonnet or sonnets, A thorough a n a l y s i s of The House of L i f e as a c y c l i c a l poem would involve a precise e x p l i c a t i o n of each sonnet; such an analysis i s beyond the scope of t h i s t h e s i s . The ensuing discussion w i l l be confined to o u t l i n i n g the c y c l i c a l structure of The House of L i f e , and to i n d i c a t i n g that t h i s structure i s supported by r e p e t i t i v e imagery and themes. "Love Enthroned" (I) announces the theme of Part One, the transcendence and dominance of love over a l l other Powers. " B r i d a l B i r t h " (II) depicts the b i r t h of love i t -s e l f , and emphasizes with youthful optimism love's trans-cendence even over "Death's n u p t i a l change" [ l . 1 3 ] . I t thus constitutes a commentary on Part One as a whole, but i t also marks the beginning of the f i r s t cycle since i t celebrates the b i r t h of love. The s t a r t l i n g r e l i g i o u s imagery of "Love's Testament" (III) suggests a sacramental ceremony such as marriage, or perhaps even a baptism which 87 would l i n k i t with the previous b i r t h sonnet. The 1870 version, e n t i t l e d "Love's Redemption," suggested even more c l e a r l y a r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l i n i t s d e s c r i p t i o n of a k i s s as a presentation of "the body and blood of Love" [ l , 3]. This sonnet also provides a general commentary to Part One by claiming that love redeems "my prisoned s p i r i t " [1, 14] from H e l l , Cycle A, r e a l l y begins with "Lovesight" (IV) and runs to "Youth's Antiphony" (XIII). This f i r s t cycle constitutes an i d e a l pattern of perfect love, a pattern which w i l l be retraced, modified, and gradually destroyed by the b i t t e r experience of subsequent cycles. The octave of "Lovesight", with i t s mingling of pa,ssion and worship, i s given added poignancy by the premonition of separation i n the sestet, " L i f e ' s darkening slope" [1, 12], "the perished leaves of Hope" [1, 13], and "Death's imperishable wing" [ l , 14], foreshadow events i n ensuing cycles, but they are the only shadows evident i n t h i s otherwise bright set of sonnets. I t i s t y p i c a l of R o s s e t t i , however, to have the l o v e r f e e l , even i n the f i r s t k i s s , a foreboding of the l a s t . The imagery of "Heart's Hope" (V) r e i n f o r c e s the im-pression of a newly-born love, Tender as dawn's f i r s t h i l l - f i r e , and intense As instantaneous penetrating sense, In Spring's birth-hour, of other Springs gone by. [11, 12-14] 88 This l a s t l i n e even suggests a continuity with the past and perhaps even with a past love and a previous c y c l e . The unequivocal p l a t o n i c statement, Thy soul I know not from thy body, nor Thee from myself, neither our love from God.., [11. 7-8] i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the next f i v e sonnets ( i n c l u d i n g "Nuptial Sleep" V i a ) , the f i r s t three depicting p h y s i c a l love, the others providing the counterbalance of s p i r i t u a l love, The cycle ends with three examples of a "moment's monument": "The P o r t r a i t " (X), "The Love-Letter" (XI), and "The Lover's Walk" (XII). The summer scene of t h i s l a s t sonnet provodes a l i n k with the p r a t t l e of lovers i n the octave of "Youth's Antiphony" (XIII), which marks the pause before the beginning of Cycle 3 3 . This pause i s suggested p r i m a r i l y by the retrospective point of view of the sestet where the poet stops to look back and comment upon youthful love. Ah *, happy they to whom such words as these In youth have served f o r speech the whole day long, Hour a f t e r hour, remote from the world's throng, Work, contest, fame, a l l l i f e ' s confederate pleas,,.. [11. 10-13] Spring returns i n "Youth's Spring-Tribute" (XIV) and 89 with, i t comes a new "hour of Love's sworn s u i t s e r v i c e " [1. 13]. Renewal i s f u r t h e r suggested hy the reminiscent "birth imagery of "The Birth-Bond" (XV). The next s i x sonnets, framed hy a d e s c r i p t i o n of p h y s i c a l love i n "A Day of Love" (XVI), and of s p i r i t u a l love i n "Love-Sweet-ness" (XXI), are moments of joy or monuments to the lov e r such as were found i n Cycle A. But t h i s group, unlike that of the f i r s t cycle, contains increasing reference to approaching calamity and the irrevocable passing of youth and love. The lovers i n "A Day of Love," "speaking of things remembered...speechless while things forgotten c a l l to us," [11. 13-14] separate f o r a time, l e a v i n g the poet sighing sadly i n "Beauty's Pageant" (XVII). "Genius i n Beauty" (XVIII) shows the poet's increasing awareness of "the envenomed years, whose tooth/ Rends shallower grace with r u i n v o i d of ruth" [11. 12-13]. This grim imagery i s replaced by the verdant beauty of " S i l e n t Noon" (XIX), which nonetheless suggests that the "day" of love i s passing. The "night's gloom" and " s p i r i t ' s g r i e f " [1, 14] of "Gracious Moonlight" (XX) are momentarily d i s p e l l e d by the rapture of "Love-Sweetness," only to be renewed with greater i n t e n s i t y i n "Heart's Haven" (XXII) where the love i s f o r the f i r s t time " i n e x p l i c a b l y f i l l e d with f a i n t alarms" [1. 4], and where love i s seen as a p r o t e c t i o n from " a l l shafts of 90 s h e l t e r l e s s tumultuous day" [ l . 11]. This changing a t t i t u d e toward l i f e and love i s further emphasized i n "Love's Baubles" (XXIII) where the poet admits that love can be a snare and a s i n , even though the lady gives i t the necessary s a n c t i t y . "Fride of Youth" (XXIV), another "pause" poem, again i n d i c a t e s a d i s t i n c t s h i f t i n point of view, as the poet i n t e r r u p t s the poem to comment on "the loves that from h i s hand proud Youth l e t s f a l l , / Even as the beads of a t o l d rosary i " [11. 13-14] The entrance of the New Love r e p l a c -ing the Old Love whom "night-rack shrouds" [1. 8], suggests the beginning of Cycle C, characterized by "change i n every hour's r e c a l l " [ l . 9]« In "the t e r r i b l e imagery of "Winged Hours" (XXV), the poet displays an increas i n g maturity i n h i s grim foreknowledge that t h i s new hour of love w i l l u l t i m a t e l y give way to "wingless skies" [ l . 14] lea v i n g only "bloodied feathers scattered i n the brake" [ l . 12], Nonetheless, he plunges in t o the new. a f f a i r , g l o r y i n g i n the "new sunrise" [1, 3] i n "Mid-Rapture" (XXVI), although "worn t i r e d brows" [ l , 8] have replaced the smooth face of youth. With a c e r t a i n desparate bravado, he "stakes with a smile the world against thy heart" [ l . 14] i n "Heart's Compass" (XXVII) which also notes the ominous "gathering clouds of Night's ambiguous a r t " [ l . 11]. He marvels, i n 9 1 "Soul-Light" (XXVIII), that love can bring "wonder new--born" and "fresh transport" [ 1 . 1 1 ] even at "startide" [ l . 1 0 ] ; the observation moves him to a comparison between this love and another i n "The Moonstar" (XXIX). The s i g -nificant t i t l e of "Last Fire" (XXX), the setting of a "summer eve" [ 1 . 1 ] , and the glimpse of approaching winter's sunless days, reinforce the impression that this love and love i n general are destined to end soon. Cycle C. ends with three commemorative sonnets, the last of which, "Venus Victrix" (XXXIII), contains an intentionally vague and general reference to "the sweetest of thy names." LI. 1 2 ] The depiction of love's c y c l i c a l renewal rea l l y ends at this point, for Cycle D. celebrates, not love, but the gradual removal of love from The House of L i f e , In the "pause" sonnet, "The Dark Glass" (XXXIV), the poet stops, not to look back and comment upon the loves of youth, but to gaze around him i n fear and bewilderment at a situation he does not f u l l y understand. He sees only that love, not he, i s the master of his fate; having revelled i n love's grace, he must submit to f i n a l separation and the death of love. Even though love i s not yet dead, what was a l i v i n g r e l i g i o n already seems a "Lamp's Shrine" (XXXV) from which he w i l l "nowise shrink" [ l . 9], "Life-In-Love" (XXXVI) and "The Love-Moon (XXXVII) attempt to answer the philosophical 92 question, "What am I to Love, the l o r d of a l l ? " [1, 9] posed i n "The Dark Glass"; the poet seeks to j u s t i f y h i s loves, saying that h i s lady " v i v i f i e s / What else were sorrow's servant and death's t h r a l l " [XXXVI^ 11. 3-4], and that i n l o v i n g more than one, he has been f u l f i l l i n g love's purpose. [XXXVII, 11. 9-14] In "The Morrow's Message" (XXXVIII), the poet f i n d s that, f o r a l i t t l e while longer, h i s " l i f e i s s t i l l the sun's" [ l . 13], but t h i s r e -newed hope i s soon replaced, i n "Sleepless Dreams" (XXXIX), by the f e a r that love's grove may be only "a thicket hung with masks of mockery" [1. 13]. The image-burdened "Through Death to Love" (XLI) y i e l d s a r e s o l u t i o n of the problem pondered i n many sonnets i n t h i s cycle: as Baum puts i t , the poet "has passed through thoughts and fears of death to the acceptance of love. (H.L., p. 124) But t h i s renewed f a i t h does not r e s u l t i n a renewal or r e b i r t h of love, The reunion with the loved one celebrated i n "Hope Overtaken" (XLII) and the seeming return of Spring i n "Love and Hope" (XLII) merely allow the poet a l a s t f a r e w e l l , one l a s t hour, i n the l i g h t of the "sinking sun" [XLII, 1. 11], "Cloud and Wind" (XLIV) announces the r e a l themes of Cycle E: death and separation. The l a s t meeting, which began i n "Hope Overtaken", ends i n "Secret Parting" (XLV), 93 and the remainder of t h i s cycle (XLVT to L I U ) , strongly el e g a i c i n tone, mourns the poet's l o s s . The pause sonnet, "Love's F a t a l i t y " (LI?), i n which the poet p h i l o s o -p h i c a l l y concludes that love chained hy desire y i e l d s only misery, i s followed hy " S t i l l b o r n Love" (LV) whose b i r t h imagery would o r d i n a r i l y herald a new cycle. But the love being s t i l l b o r n , the poet can only hope f o r a renewal of love i n e t e r n i t y . In t h i s l a s t cycle, P., he erects a monument to h i s dead love i n "True Woman" (LVI-LVIII), i n the l a s t of which he r e i t e r a t e s h i s one hope: ...Yet s h a l l Heaven's promise clothe Even yet those lovers who have cherished s t i l l This t e s t f o r l o v e : — i n every k i s s sealed f a s t To f e e l the f i r s t k i s s and forbode the l a s t . [11. 11-14] "Love's Last G i f t " (LIX) provides a t r a n s i t i o n to Part Two. The "sweet blooms of love" [1. 9] given to the poet "while Spring and Summer sang" [ l . 10], are replaced by the l a u r e l to t i d e him through the Autumn and Winter of h i s l i f e which w i l l be recorded i n the second part of the poem. In "Transfigured L i f e " (LX), one of four sonnets i n -troducing Part Two, the poet begins to explain the general nature of the ensuing sonnets, The l i f e recorded w i l l be "transfigured," l i v e d i n the memory. Since love has de-parted, he must r e l y on h i s "song" to " b i d passion's fullgrown 94 birth remain" [1. 11], and i n "The Song-Throe" (1X1), he says that his "song" w i l l be a sincere outpouring of genuine grief which w i l l "pierce thy brother's heart." [1. 14] "The Soul's Sphere" (LXII) indicates that the poet intends to look ahead as well as behind. His mind con-tinues to bombard him with perhaps vain "visions of golden futures" [1. 12] as well as a "wild pageant of the accumu-lated past." [1. 13] This manysidedness of l i f e , past, present, and future i s discussed i n "Inclusiveness" (LXIII), Part Two, then, w i l l be characterized partly by a conscious retracing of past cycles, but also by an irrevocable s p i r a l l i n g forward to the future, fate and death. Cycle G. begins with the return of Spring i n "Ardour and Memory" (LXIV), but instead of a new love, the poet i s greeted only by "the rose-tree's verdure" [1, 12], the memory of past loves, This b i t t e r realization that l i f e has changed causes him to reflect, i n "Known in Vain" (LXV), on a squandered l i f e which has "sailed by." [1. 11] In "The Heart of the Night" (IXVI), he asks for regeneration, for a chance to make the rest of his l i f e meaningful, and i n "The Landmark" (LXVII), he decides that he must retrace his steps to some landmark he has missed i n his journey through l i f e . Accordingly, he sets out, wondering i n "A Dark Day" (LXVIII) i f the gloom he feels i s a portent of new griefs 95 to be met or simply the memory of old griefs which he must re l i v e . Uncertain at f i r s t , he aimlessly leads his "shadow O'er the grass" [LXIX, 1. 13], u n t i l f i n a l l y he reaches "The H i l l Summit" (LXX) and pauses before a set of "bewildered tracks." [1. 11] These tracks are more clearly distinguished in "The Choice" (LXXI-IXXITI): Eat and Drink; Watch and Pear; Think and Act, Which path did he take before? Which should he pursue now? Cycle H, records the actual journey through the poet's past l i f e . "Old and New Art" (LXXIV-LXXVI) represent his a r t i s t i c l i f e ; "Soul's Beauty" (LXXVII) and "Body's Beauty" (LXXVIII) symbolize the love which has been both his source of l i f e and his greatest p i t f a l l . In "The Monochord" (LXXIX) he asks in wonder, "What i s this that knows the road I came" [1. 9], and that allows him to relive the past in "regenerate rapture"? [1. 13]. "Gazing steadily back,—as through a dream" [LXXX, 1. 7], he inquires whether "those unknown things or these things overknown" [LXXX, 1. 14] were most i n f l u e n t i a l i n his l i f e . In "Memorial Thresholds" (LXXXI), he pauses before a house which had once been of great importance to him, and observes that i t s ...single simple door, By some new Power reduplicate, must be Even yet my life-porch i n eternity, Even with one presence f i l l e d , as once of yore: 96 Or mocking winds whirl round a chaff-strown floor Thee and thy years and these my words and me. [11. 9-14] The poet s t i l l holds out l i t t l e hope for a better future, but i n "Hoarded Joy" (LXXXII) he resolves to pluck from the tree of l i f e the "last clusters" of f r u i t which in the past he had spurned, This weak resolve i s the only lesson he draws from his journey through the past, He has found no landmark, no renewed l i f e . Thus, Spring returns i n the next sonnet (IXXXIII), but again i t i s "barren". "Spring no more concerns" him [1. 8]; instead, he begins to look forward to death, Cycle I, begins with the poet's farewell to l i f e and hope, symbolized by "Farewell to the Glen" (LXXKIV). From this point on, l i f e becomes merely a purposeless plodding to death. In "Vain Virtues", he contemplates the one sin, " s t i l l blithe on earth" [1. 14], that sends an otherwise virtuous soul to Hell. In "Lost Days" (LZXXVI), he fears that his wasted l i f e w i l l haunt him in death; but s t i l l "Death's Songsters" (LXXXVIl) beckon him. B i t t e r l y he mocks his pursuit of perfect love (LXXXVIII), and even derides l i f e i t s e l f as a "wisp that laughs upon the wall." [LXXXIX, 1, 4 ] But, chiding himself at this heresy, he, exhorts "Satan" to "leave these weak feet to tread i n 97 narrow ways" [XC, 1, 11], even though the journey seems aimless (XCI). The journey ends with the two sonnets t i t l e d "The Sun's Shame" (XCTI-XCTII). In the f i r s t , the poet, at the point of death, reviews once more h i s shamefully wasted days, The second introduces a device which frequent-l y occurs i n t h i s l a s t cycle, J , : "the World's grey Soul" contemplates the "green World" [1. 9 ] j age contemplates youth, death looks at l i f e . The Spring imagery of t h i s sonnet provides a "bitterly i r o n i c contrast to past Springs, and introduces the l a s t cycle i n which the poet, h i s journey over, simply waits to die. At t h i s point, he gathers together some f i n a l comments on l i f e . L i f e gives hut small reward (XCIV); l i f e i s a vase "which now/ Stands empty t i l l h i s ashes f a l l i n i t " [XCV, 11. 13-14]; l i f e to the dying always seems a t t r a c t i v e (XCVI) even though i t s h i t t e r memory haunts him (XCTII). "He and I" (XCTIII) records the l a s t meeting between l i f e and d e a t h - i n - l i f e before death i t s e l f i s f i n a l l y born i n "Newborn Death" (XCIX-C). The b i r t h of death recorded i n t h i s l a t t e r sonnet returns the c y c l i c a l poem to i t s point of departure, As love was born of h i s lady, so love, song, and a r t y i e l d by t h e i r deaths the b i r t h of death i t s e l f . "The One Hope" (Cl) remains that a new l i f e and a renewed love i n the 98 "green plain" [ l . 6] of eternity may continue the cycle interrupted hy death. FOOTNOTE For a discussion of The House of Life as an i n f i n i t e cycle see John Lindberg, "Rossetti's Cumaean Oracle," Victorian Newsletter, no. 22 (Fall-1962), pp. 20-21. 100 CONCLUSION Cl e a r l y , The House of L i f e i s not a model of Tudor House or Eelmscott Manor; i t i s not inhabited by E l i z a b e t h Siddal, Jane Morris, or even by a c h l o r a l --sodden R o s s e t t i who could consume a dozen eggs f o r breakfast, and who kept wombats i n h i s backyard, -Obvious as t h i s conclusion may seem, i t has been l a r g e l y ignored or overlooked by c r i t i c s of the poem who, l i k e Doughty, choose to " c i t e chapter and verse" f o r each moment i n R o s s e t t i ' s l i f e . Attempts to f i n d l i v i n g people and f a i t h f u l l y recorded events i n The House of L i f e can only r e s u l t i n a d i s t o r t i o n of the work and a misunderstanding of R o s s e t t i ' s purpose. This purpose i s metaphorically ex> pressed i n "Transfigured L i f e " (LX): As growth of form or momentary glance In a c h i l d ' s features w i l l r e c a l l to mind The father's with the mother's face combin'd,— Sweet interchange that memories s t i l l enhance: And yet, as childhood's years and youth's advance, 101 The gradual mouldings leave one stamp behind, T i l l i n the blended likeness now we f i n d A separate man's or woman's countenance:— So i n the Song, the singer's Joy and Pain, I t s very parents, evermore expand To b i d the passion's fullgrown b i r t h remain, By Art's t r a n s f i g u r i n g essence subtly spann'd..,. Perhaps, as Doughty points out, t h i s poem suggests that biography, "the singer's Joy and Pain," has been a source of The House of L i f e , On the other hand, one might suggest that "Joy and Pain" are general terms and that R o s s e t t i i s admitting emotional s i n c e r i t y rather than biographical accuracy i n h i s "Songs." But the metaphor i n the octave of the poem more c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e s what R o s s e t t i means by "tran s f i g u r e d l i f e " and perhaps what he intended by saying that The House of L i f e records "neither my_ l i f e nor your l i f e , but l i f e purely and simply." The product of the singer's "Joy and Pain',' l i k e the o f f -spring of the mother and father, i s a "separate... count-enance," bearing c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of i t s parents, but transformed by Art's (or nature's) " t r a n s f i g u r i n g essence" into a separate e n t i t y . The t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n of the l i f e i n to the. separate e n t i t y , The House of L i f e ,> i s made evident by a comparison of R o s s e t t i ' s biography to the early versions of the poem, and, i n turn, by a comparison of these versions to the f i n a l 1881 version. The F o r t n i g h t l y 102 Review sonnets and the Kelmscott sonnets represent early-attempts to commit'Rossetti 1s l i f e to paper i n some ordered fashion, In them, the chaos of the l i f e i s transformed into patterns which are n a r r a t i v e l y and thematically com-prehensible. The 1870 v e r s i o n of the poem, a fur t h e r step i n the evolution from l i f e to a r t , i s l e s s biographic-ally accurate and more a r t i s t i c a l l y u n i f i e d than the two smaller s e r i e s . The f i n a l product, the 1881 House of L i f e , bears l i t t l e resemblance to the l i f e from which i t was created. I t i s a "separate countenance" and must, l i k e the blossom on the chestnut tree be examined as an e n t i t y i n i t s own r i g h t . At t h i s f i n a l stage of the poem's development, i t i s inaccurate and inadequate to examine i t only as an auto-biographical record. To evaluate The House of L i f e as a "work of a r t , to discover i n i t an e s s e n t i a l unity, and to comprehend i t s thematic structure and meaning necessitate a c r i t i c a l approach which i s p r i m a r i l y i n t r i n s i c or organic. Such an approach has been used i n the reading given i n t h i s t h e s i s of The House of L i f e as a c y c l i c a l poem. The d e c i s i o n to employ t h i s p a r t i c u l a r approach, however, has been based on a c r i t i c a l examination which i s e s s e n t i a l l y e x t r i n s i c and biographical. To approach The  House of L i f e only as f a c t u a l autobiography i s to ignore or misconstrue much of i t s content; i t i s s i m i l a r to c a l l i n g 103 t h e b l o s s o m t h e t r e e . O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , t o d i s m i s s b i o g r a p h y i n a s t u d y o f t h e p o e m i s t o u n d e r t a k e a p e r i l o u s j o u r n e y w i t h o u t g u i d e p o s t s o r d i r e c t i o n . S t u d y i n g t h e b l o s s o m w i t h o u t k n o w i n g t h e t r e e f r o m w h i c h i t f e l l , i s p o s s i b l e b u t u n n e c e s s a r i l y d i f f i c u l t . A c o m p l e t e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h i s c o m p l e x w o r k c a n r e s u l t o n l y f r o m a c r i t i c a l e x a m i n a t i o n w h i c h s y n t h e s i z e s e x t r i n s i c a n d i n t r i n s i c m e t h o d s . APPENDIX The fo l l o w i n g chart i s intended to indicate the versions of The House of L i f e as well as several attempts at dating i n d i v i d u a l sonnets. The columns contain the fol l o w i n g data: 1. the d i v i s i o n s of cycles i n The House of L i f e as they are discussed i n Chapter Three. 2. the f i n a l numbering of the sonnets. 3. the t i t l e of each sonnet as i t appeared i n the 1881 House of L i f e and a l l subsequent versions. "Nuptial Sleep" (6a) was omitted from the sequence a f t e r the s i x t h e d i t i o n of Poems (1870), and was not o f f i c i a l l y restored to The House of L i f e u n t i l 1904 i n The Poems of Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i , edited by William Michael R o s s e t t i (London: E l l i s ) ; f o r a discussion of the omission from and subsequent r e s t o r a t i o n of the sonnet to the sequence, see W.M. R o s s e t t i , Bibliography of the Works of Dante G a b r i e l  R o s s e t t i (London: E l l i s , 1905), p. 25. 4. the i n i t i a l p u b l i c a t i o n date of each sonnet, "Pride of Youth" (24) f i r s t appeared i n the Athanaeum no. 2810 (3 September 1881), p. 305; "Soul's Beauty" (77) and "Body's Beauty" (78) i n Notes on  the Royal Academy E x h i b i t i o n , 1868, Part I I , under 1G4A other t i t l e s [see chart]; and "Lost Lays" (86) i n A ¥/elcome: O r i g i n a l Contributions i n Poetry  and Prose (London: F a i t h f u l l , 1863) , p. 118. A l l other sonnets f i r s t appeared e i t h e r i n Poems ( 1 8 7 0 ) , or i n the 1881 House of L i f e . 5. the order of the sixteen sonnets e n t i t l e d "Of L i f e , Love, and Death" which appeared i n the F o r t n i g h t l y  Review, v o l , 52, n.s. 5 (March 1 8 6 9 ) , 266-273. 6. the order of sonnets i n the 1870 sequence e n t i t l e d "Sonnets and Songs towards a work to be c a l l e d The House of L i f e . " The a s t e r i s k i n d i c a t e s those sonnets which appeared elsewhere i n Poems ( 1 8 7 0 ) . 7. the order of those sonnets which appeared i n the quarto album prepared by R o s s e t t i and published by John Robert Wahl i n The Kelmscott Love Sonnets  of Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i (Capetown: Balkema, 1954) . The o r i g i n a l c o l l e c t i o n s contained a few miscellaneous poems along with The House of L i f e sonnets [numbered by Wahl 10, 21 , 26, 27, 28, 2 9 ] ; hence the gaps i n numbering i n t h i s column. 8. two sets of dates compiled by W.M. R o s s e t t i : i n Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i as Designer and Writer (London: C a s s e l l , I 8 8 9 ) , and i n The Works of Dante 105 Gabriel Rossetti (London: E l l i s , 1911). William Michael made other attempts at dating [see Chapt. Three, no. 2 ; and Column Eleven] but those given here are considered the most important, 9 . the dates compiled by F.M. Tisdel i n "Rossetti 1s' House of L i f e , " Modern Philology, vol, 15 (September 1 9 1 7 ) , 257-276. 10. the two sets of dates compiled by P.P. Baum. In his edition of The House of Life (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1 9 2 8 ) , Baum based his dates mainly on those given in D.G.R. as Designer  and Writer, on Tisdel, and on the unpublished data of Frederick Page. In his edition of Dante Gabriel  Rossetti: Poems, Ballads, and Sonnets (Garden City N.Y.: Doubleday Doran, 1937), he adopted the dates assigned by William Michael i n 1 9 1 1 . 1 1 . notes indicating the sources of individual dates, dates assigned by others, and other relevant data, Oswald Doughty accepted most of William Michael's 1911 dates and disagreed with only a few; these are given i n this column. Por a discussion of William Michael's dates and their substantiation see Tisdel. Abbreviations used i n the chart. C , — H a l l Caine, Recollections, 1882 106 D.—Oswald Doughty, A Victorian Romantic, I960. FLM. Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Family Letters with a Memoir. Kn,—Joseph Knight. The Life and Writings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. K-S.—Letter written by Rossetti to William B e l l Scott from Kelmscott, 1871. L.A.—Letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti to William Allingham, 1854-1870. L.D.—Letter to William Davies. N'RAE—Notes on the Royal Academy Exhibition. P.—Frederick Page. BFB.—P.F. Baum. RDW.—Dante Gabriel Rossetti as Designer and Writer. RP.—Rossetti Papers (1862-1870). S.—William Sharp. Dante Gabriel Rossetti. T.—F.M. Tisdel. Tr. Bk.—Rossetti's T r i a l Books 1881 1881 F I R S T F . R . P O E M S K . 1871 W . M • Ro T I S D E L .• P . P . B A U M O T H E R -A N D N O T E S c N o . T I T L E P U B L . 1870 1889 1911 1917 1928 19 V7 T H E S O N N E T 1881 1880 i860 I N 1 L O V E • E N T H R O N E D 1881 2 • 1871 1871? 1871 T R 0 2 B R I D A L B I R T H 1870 1 1869 ' 71851-62 . T 1869 i • A 3 4 L O V E ' S T E S T A M E N T L O V E S I G H T -1870 1 6 7 0 2 L o v e 1s R e d e m p -t i o n 3 1669 lobS ?l853-62 T i 1869 1869 1 F l a m m i f e r a " i n T r . B k . ( P F B ) i 5 H E A R T ' S H O P E 1881 1 1671 1871? 1871 6 T H E K I S S 1870 4" 1869 71853-62 T 1869 6a N U P T I A L S L E E P 1870 5 ' • 1868 Pla.ea.~tai Venere. • 1869 ?l853-62 T R o D • vv. 1869 See- n . . . 7 S U P R E M E • S U R R E N D E R 1870 6 1870 71853-62 71869 -1870 i n 1870 -8 L O V E ' S L O V E R S 1870 7 1869 71853-62 X T 1869 9 P A S S I O N A N D W O R S H I P 1870 8 1 8 7 0 t 71868-70 T 1870 G r i g . " L u v o & W o r s h i p " i ) r - 1 O 1881 1881 FIRST P O E M S , W.M.R. T I S D E L P . P . B A U M O T H E R . c. N o . . T I T L E ' P U B L • • F - . R . 1870 K . 1871 1889 1911 1917 JL323_n .193-7-- A N D N O T E S IO-II T H E P O R T R A I T T H E L O V E -L E T T E R ..• 1870 1870 9 10 1869 1868 1870 71860-61 71853-62 71863 -1866 T , P T 1868 1870 12 T H E L O V E R S ' W A L K - . • 1881' 18 1871 1871 1871 K - S , I I , p . l 4 2 13 Y O U T H ' S A N T I P H O N Y . 1881 17 L o v e ' s A n t i p h o n y 1871 1871? 1871 a 14 Y O U T H » S S P R I N G T R I B U T E 1881 2 3 S p r i n g T r i b u t e 1870 1870 P 1870 " L o v e ' s S p r . T r i b u t e " ? D • 15 T H E B I R T H - B O N D 1870 1 1 • 1854 1854 1854 L . A . , p .46 16 , A D A Y O P L O V E 1870 12 1870 71853-62 71864 -1868 T 1871? 1870 17 B E A U T Y ' S P A G E A N T 1881 8 L o v e ' s P a g e a n t 1871 18 7 1 18 G E N I U S I N B E A U T Y 1881 7 1871 1871? 1871 1 9 S I L E N T N O O N 1 8 8 1 1871 1 8 7 1 ? 1871 2 0 G R A C I O U S k O O H L I G H T _ i 1881 i i j i | 1871 1 8 7 1 ? 1 8 7 1 H O CO 1 6 8 1 1 8 8 1 i ' l i t S T P U B L o P O E k S w „ 1") T I S D E L P . P . B A U M O T H E R •c. N o . T I T L E JL''.6 R o 1 8 7 0 A . 1 6 7 1 1 8 8 9 1 9 1 1 1 9 1 7 1 9 2 8 1 9 3 7 A N D N O T E S 2 1 L O V E -S W E E T N E S S 1 8 7 0 1 3 1 8 7 0 7 1 8 5 3 - 6 2 I 1 8 7 0 ' 2 2 23 H E A R T 1 S H A V E N L O V E « S B A U B L E S 1 8 8 1 1 8 7 0 1 4 1 5 , 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 0 7 1 8 6 8 - 7 0 1 8 7 1 K n . T 1 6 7 1 K - S , I I , p . 1 4 2 c 2 4 25 P R I D E O P Y O U T H W I N G E D H O U R S 1 8 8 1 • Athenaeum 1 6 6 9 9 1 5 1 8 8 0 1 8 7 1 1 6 6 9 7 1 8 6 8 - 6 9 1 8 8 0 T '. 1 8 8 0 1 6 ' 6 9 0„, p . 254, i 8 6 0 C h a n g e s " P P B 26 27 M I D - R A P T U R E H E A R T 1 S C O M P A S S 1 6 8 1 1 8 8 1 -9 B e t w e e n K i s s e s 1 2 L o v e ' s C o m p a s s --1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 ? 1 8 7 1 ? 1 6 7 1 1 8 7 1 28 S O U L - L I G H T 1 6 8 1 13 L o v e -L i g h t 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 ? 1 8 7 1 29' T H E k O O N S T A R 1 8 8 1 19 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 ? 1 8 7 1 1 s t T r . B k . : 1 8 S 9 D 30 L A S T E I R E 1 8 8 1 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 ? 1 8 7 1 31 H E R G I F T S 1 8 8 1 6 M y Lady's G i f t s 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 ? 1 8 7 1 H O 1881 1881 F I R S T P O E M S W . M . R . . ' T I S D E L P . P . B A U M O T H E R . A N D N O T E S c . N o . T I T L E P U B L . P . R . 1870 K . 1871 1869 1911 1917 1926 1937 32 E Q U A L T R O T H 1881 14 L o v e -m e a s u r e 1871 1871?' 1871 33 V E N U S V I C T R I X 1881 24 1671 1871? 1871 34 T H E D A R K G L A S S 1881 11 1871 1871 1671 K - S , I I , p . l 4 3 p . 145 D 35 36 T H E L A M P ' S ' S H R I N E L I F E - I N - L O V E 1881 1870 15 24. T h e L o v e -uaiiip 1671 1870 71868-70 1671? T 1871 1670 37 T H E L O V E -M O O N 1870 ' 17 ?1868 1869 71868-70 ?1868 I869 38 T H E M O R R O W ' S M E S S A G E 1870 18 1869 71668-69 T 1869 39 S L E E P L E S S D R E A M S 1869 5 1869 71868-69 T 1869 " S l e e p l e s s , L o v e " D 40 41 S E V E R E D S E L V E S T H R O U G H D E A T H T O L O V E 1881 1881 30 B e t w e e n M e e t i n g s 3 1871 1871 1871 P . 1871 1871 1871 K - S , I I , p'ol43 42 H O P E O V E R T A K E N 1681 'j 1671 1&71? 1871 H O 1 8 8 1 1 8 8 1 F I R S T P O E M S W . M . R . T I S D E L P.P. . . B A U M O T H E R . c. H o . T I T L E • P U B L . F . R . - 1 8 7 0 K . 1 8 7 1 1 8 8 9 1 9 1 1 1 9 1 7 1 9 2 8 1 9 3 7 A N D N O T E S 4 3 L O V E A N D . H O P E 1 8 8 1 2 0 7 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 7 1 6 7 1 1 6 7 1 4 4 C L O U D A N D W I N D 1 8 8 1 2 2 ' 7 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 7 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 4 5 S E C R E T P A R T I N G 1 8 7 0 2 0 1 8 6 9 7 1 8 6 8 - 6 9 T 1 8 6 9 4 6 P A R T E D L O V E 1 8 7 0 V 2 1 1 8 6 9 1 6 5 9 1 6 6 9 4 . 7 B R O E E H i v i U S I C 1 8 6 9 1 1 2 2 7 1 6 6 9 1 8 5 2 7 1 8 6 9 1 8 6 9 F L M 1 8 6 9 -4 6 4 9 D E A T H — I H . r - L O V E W I L L O W W O O D 1 . 1 8 7 0 . 1 8 6 9 1 2 3 2 4 - 7 1 8 6 9 1 6 6 9 1 8 6 9 1 8 6 9 1 6 5 8 1 8 6 8 M s : " D i e s a t r . 1 s t M a y , 1 8 6 9 P P B . 1 8 6 6 D P L i v i j R P 1 8 6 6 5 0 W I l l O W W O O D 2 . 1 8 6 9 2 2 5 7 1 8 6 9 1 8 6 9 1 8 6 6 1 8 6 8 1 8 6 6 D F L M 1 8 6 6 5 1 W I L L O W W O O D 3 . 1 8 6 9 3 2 6 7 1 8 6 9 1 8 6 9 1 8 6 8 1 8 6 8 1 8 6 6 D P L i u . 1 8 6 8 5 2 W I L L O W W O O D 4 . 1 8 6 9 4 2 7 7 1 8 6 9 1 8 6 9 1 8 6 8 1 8 6 8 1 8 6 6 D F L M 1 6 6 8 5 3 W I T H O U T H E R 1 6 8 1 1 6 1 6 7 1 7 1 8 7 1 1 6 7 1 • M M H 1 8 8 1 1 8 8 1 F I R S T P U B L . P O E M S 1 8 7 0 V.:' a M a R . T I S D E L P.P . B A U M O T H E R c. No. ' T I T L E P . R C K . 1 8 7 1 1 8 8 9 . .1911 1 9 1 7 1 9 2 8 1 9 3 7 A M D N O T E S 54 L O V E » S F A T A L I T Y 1 8 8 1 4 1 8 6 9 ' 1 8 7 1 7 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 f 5 5 S T I L L B O R N .." L O V E 1 8 7 0 2 8 . 7 1 8 6 9 1 8 7 0 71868-70 7 1 8 6 9 T -1 8 7 0 1 s t T r . B k . : 1 8 6 9 T R 56 1 . H E R S E L F 1 8 8 1 1 8 8 1 1 6 8 1 1 8 8 1 1 8 8 1 U E 5 7 2 . H E R L O V E 1 8 8 1 \ 1 8 8 1 1 8 8 1 1 8 8 1 " 1 8 8 1 W 0 M 5 8 3 . H E R H E A V E N 1 6 6 1 1 8 6 1 1 6 6 1 1 6 6 1 1 8 8 1 A N 5 9 L O V E ' S L A S T G I F T . 1 6 6 1 1 8 7 1 7 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 1 I 6 0 T R A N S F I G U R E D • L I F E 1 6 8 1 1 8 7 3 7 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 3 N T R 6 1 T H E S O N G -T H E O E 1 8 6 1 1 8 8 0 1 8 8 0 1 6 8 0 0 o 6 2 T H E S O U L ' S S P E b r t E 1 8 8 1 1 8 7 3 7 1 8 7 1 1 8 7 3 G-6 3 6 4 I N C L U S I V E N E S S A R D O U R A N D i u E k O R Y 1 8 6 9 1 8 6 1 1 4 29 1 8 6 0 j - o o 9 1 8 7 3 1 8 6 0 7 1 6 6 2 -6 9 1 8 7 9 1 8 6 9 1 8 7 9 1 8 7 9 D L , D . : S , p , 4 2 6 H H 1881 1881 F I R S T P U B L . P O E M S W . M . R . T I S D E L P . F . B A U M O T H E R . i c. No. T I T L E F . R . 1870 K . 1871 1889 1911 1917 1928 1937 A N D N O T E S j 65 K N O W N I N V A I N 1869 13 30 71857 1853 1853-7 1853 F L M 1653 \ 66 T H E H E A R T O F T H E N I G H T 1881. • ?1874 1873 1874 1873 '•- j • I I l 67 T H E L A N D M A R K 1869 ' 10 31 1854 : 1854 1854 F 1 . • - I 6.8 A D A R K D A Y 1870 32 1855 1855 1855 1855 L . A . P.102 ; 69 A U T U M N I D L E N E S S 1870 * 1850 1850 1850 H P I66y 1650 S , p.27 : 70 71 T H E H I L L S U M M I T . T H E C H O I C E 1. 1870 1870 33 35 1847 1853 1648 1853 L847-8 1853 I848 L . A . pp.45- , T r . B k . : 4 5 ' 1859 i 72 T H E C H O I C E 2. 1870 36 1847 1848 L847-8 1848 B~ 0 L D &. 73 T H E C H O I C E 3. 1870 37 1847 1846 L647-6 I848 74 1. S T . L U K E T H E P A I N T E R 1870 * 1849 1849 I848 1649-75 2. N O T A S T H E S E 1881 1649 1849 1848 1849 H H 1881 1881 F I R S T P U B L . P O E M S W.M.R. T I S D E L ; P . F . BAUM O T H E R ; G. N o . T I T L E FiR. 1670 K . 1871 1889.. 1911 1917. 1928 1937 A N D N O T E S • N E W AR1 76 3. T H E . H U S B A N D M A N 1881 1849 1849 1848 1849 77 78 79 S O U L ' S B E A U T Y B O D Y ' S B E A U T Y T H E M O N O C H O R D 1868' NRAE S i b y l l a Paliaif e r a 1868 N R A E L a d y L i i i t h 1670 * -* * 1866 ?1865 1867 1867 1870 71868-70 c-1868 1864-c" 1864-c T 1867 1867 1870 F L M 1868 1866 D FLM.1868 80 F R O M D A W N T O N O O N 1881 1873 71671 1873 81 M E M O R I A L T H R E S H O L D S 1881 - 71874 1873 71874 1873 82 H O A R D E D J O Y 1870 38 • 1870 71868-70 T 1870 ' I 83 • B A R R E N S P R I N G 1870 34 1870 71868-70 71869 T 1870 84 F A R E W E L L T O T H E G L E N 1870 -* 1869 1869 1869 85 V A I N V I R T U E S 1 8 7 0 3 9 7 1 8 5 8 1869 1 8 6 9 86 L O S T D A Y S 1 8 6 3 A Welcome 1 2 4 0 7 1 8 5 8 . 1 8 6 2 71858 1862 H r—1 1881 1881 FIRST POEMS 4 • W.M.R. TISDEL . P.F. BAUM OTHER. Co No. TITLE PUBL. P.R. 1870 K . 1871 1889, ,1911 1917 1928 1937 Ai\D NOTES 87 DEATH' S SOEGSTERS 1870 41 1870 71866-70 1868-S T. 1870 88 HERO'S LAMP 1881 . .- • . 1875 - c l875 P -1875 89 THE TREES OF THE GARDEN 1881 1875 - c l875 P 1875 90 "RETRO LE SATHANA J" 1870 \ 42 1847 1847 91 LOST ON BOTH SIDES 1869 0 43 1854 1854 1854 L.A. p .38 THE SUN 1S SHAME (1) 1670 44 1869 71868-70 T I869 J 93 94 THE SUN'S SHAME (II) MICHELANGELO'L KISS 1881 1881 1873 1881 71871 1861 1873 1881 95 96 THE VASE OP LIFE LIFE THE BEliOVBD 1869 1881 7Run and V/on 45 1869 1873 71868-69 T . 71871 1873 97 A SUPER-SCRIPTION 1869 46 1868 l 6 6 y 1866 RP 1869 1869 D H 1881 1881 F I R S T F U L L . P O E M S • W . M . R . T I S D E L P.P. B A U M O T H E R N o . T I T L E " P . R . 1670 K. 1871 1889. 1911 1917 1928 1937 A N D N O T E S : 98 R E A N D I 1870 47 / 1870 71868-70 T " 1870 1 99 N E W B O R N D E A T H 1. 1869 15 48 71869, 1866 1868-9. .1868-1869 1 f f f 100 N E W B O R N D E A T H 2. 1869 16 ' 49 71869 1868 1868-9 1869-1869 j • 101 T H E O N E H O P E 1870 50 71669 1870 71869 1870 P 1870 f \ H OA 117 A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY I. DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI A. Bibliographies: Ehrsam, Theodore G., Robert H. Deily, and Robert M. Smith, "Dante Gabriel Rossetti," Bibliographies-of Twelve  Victorian Authors* New York: Wilson, 1936* ' Fredeman, W.E. "Pre-Raphaelitisia: A B i b l i o - C r i t i c a l Study." (Forthcoming publication at.Harvard University Press). Rossetti, William Michael. Bibliography of the Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.. London: E l l i s , 1905... B. Works: "Of L i f e , love, and Death: Sixteen Sonnets," Fortnightly - Review j >XIj n.s. V (March ,1869), 266-273. The Collected *Works i of.'Dante iGabriel •Rossetti.' 'Edited by " :William-M. Rossetti. 2 vols. London:. E l l i s , 1 1886. The Siddal<Edition iEof;the Works;of Dante'Gabriel Rossetti]. " 1 vols. London: Ellis,.1899-1901. The Poems 'Of 'Dante iGabriel 'Rossetti with;Illustrations 'from ••" -His, Own 'Pictures tand tDesignsEdited .-by iWilliam jM.1 Rossetti. 2 vols. London:.,Ellis, J19Q4. The Works* of <Dante '? Gabriel 'Rossetti.' Edited 'by 'William >M.-" -Rossetti. London: E l l i s ^ 191X7 The House *of -Life.' ;A Sonnet-Sequence =by .Dante /Gabriel Rossetti.'Edited by Paull^Franklin Baum.iCambridge: Harvard.University Press, 1928. 1 1 8 , Dante *Gabriel>Rossetti. An-Analytical {List sof iManuscripts i n the sDuke J University fLxhraryj' *with;Hitherto Unpublished.;-Verse i and ;Prose» >Edited, by Paull Eranklin Baum. .'Durham, N.C.: 'Duke University Press^ 1 9 3 1 . Dante-Gabriel Rossetti. The Blessed'Daiaozel;'The'Unpublished ~ Manuscripts. Texts and Collation; Edited by Paul! ~~ Franklin Baum. Chapel H i l l , N.C: University of North' Carolina Press, 1 9 3 7 * ' Poems, Ballads and Sonnets by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. ' Selections from the Posthumous Poems and'from.His Translations. Hand and Soul. Edited by Paull'Franklin Baum. New York: Doubleday Doran, 1 9 3 7 . The Kelmscott Love Sonnets of Dante .GabrielrRossetti.-Edited by John Robert Wahl. Capetown: A.H.- Balkema, 1 9 5 4 . Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Poems. Edited by Oswald Doughty. - London: Dent, 1 9 5 7 . C. Correspondence: Baum, Paull Franklin (ed.). Dante Gabriel Rossetti!s Letters  to Fanny Cornforth. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1 9 4 0 . . . •.. Doughty, Oswald (ed.). The Letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti  to His Publisher, F.S.. E l l i s . London:. Scholartis Press. 1925. " : ~ , H i l l , George Birkbeck (ed.). Letters of Bante Gabriel  Rossetti-to William Allingham. 1854-1870. London: Unwin, 1897. : •„ * .. Rossetti, William M. (ed.). Dante Gabriel Rossetti. His Family Letters, with-a Memoir. 2 vols. London: E l l i s . 1895. ~ . Ruskin: Rossetti: Pre-Raphaelitism. Papers 1854 to_l8_62. London: Allen, 1899. " • """"""" Rossetti Papers (1862 - 1 8 7 0 ) . iiondon: Sands, 1 9 0 3 . Troxell, Janet Camp (ed.). Three Rossettis. Unpublished Letters to and from.Dante Gabriel, Christina, William. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1 9 3 7 . . 119 II. BOOKS Allingham, William, William Allingham, A Diary, Edited hy Helen Allingham and D. Radford. London: Macmillan, 1907. Altick, Richard D, The Scholar Adventurer. New York: Macmillan, 1950, Angeli, Helen Madox Rossetti. Dante Gabriel Rossetti: His  Eriends and Enemies. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1949. Batchelor, Paula. Angel With Bright Hair, London: Methuen. 1958. Bate, Walter Jackson (ed,). Criticism: The Major Texts, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1952. Benson, Arthur C, Rossetti (English Men of Letters);. London: Macmillan, 1904. Bickley, Francis L. The Pre-Raphaelite Comedy, London: Constable, 1932. Bowra, CM. The Romantic Imagination, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1949. Brandes, Georg. William Shakespeare. 2 vols, Copenhagen: I896'. English translation, 2 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1935. Brooks, Cleanth. The Well-Wrought Urn: Studies i n the  Structure of Poetry."New York: Harcourt, Brace (Harvest Book;, 1947. Buchanan, Robert, The Fleshly School of Poetry and Other  Phenomena of the. Day. London: Strahan, 1572. B[urne]-J[onesJ, G[eorgina]. Memorials of Edward Burne- -Jones, 2 vols, London: Macmillan, I 9 0 4 . Caine, T. Hall. My Story, New York: Appleton, 1908. . Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. London: Stock, lbi$2. " . Recollections of Rossetti. London: Cassell, 1928. 1 2 0 Doughty, Oswald. A Victorian Romantic: Dante Gabriel  Rossetti. London: Muller, i960. E l i o t , Thomas Stearns. The Sacred Wood: Essays Qh'Poetry  and Criticism. London: Methuen, 2nd edition, 192b, 5th edition, 1950. Elton, Oliver. A Survey of English Literature 1830-1880. 4 vols. London: Arnold, 1920. . ' ' ' ' Forbes-Robertson, S i r Johnston. A Player Under Three  Reigns. London: Unwin, 1925. Gaunt, William. The Pre-Raphaelite Tragedy. London: Cape, 1942. Reissued as The Pre-Raphaelite Dream. London: Reprint Society, 1 9 4 3 * . , "~~ Hake, Thomas Gordon. Memoirs of Eighty Years. London: Bentley, 1892. Harris, Frank. The Man Shakespeare and his Tragic Life-Story. New York: Kennerley, 1 9 0 9 . '. Hunt, Violet. The Wife of Rossetti. New York: Dutton, 1932. Hunt, William Holman. Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite  Brotherhood. 2 vols. London; Macmillan, 1907. Hyman, Stanley Edgar. The Armed Vision. New York: Knopf, 1950. Jones, Howard Mumford. "The Pre-Raphaelites," The Victorian  Poets: A Guide to Research. Edited by Frederick E. ~~" Faverty. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1956. Kinsley, Edith E. Patterns for Genius. New York: Dutton, 1939* Knight, Joseph. L i f e and Writings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.. London: Scott, 1567. ' ...... Krutch, Joseph Wood. Edgar Allan Poe: A Study i n Genius. New York: Knopf,- 1926. " .. - • . . ~* Larg, David. T r i a l by Virgins: Fragment of a Biography. London:; Davies, 1 9 3 3 * " • "~ Megroz, H.L. Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Painter Poet of Heaven  In Earth. London: Faber, 1928. Meyer, George Wilbur. Wordsworth's Formative Years. Ann Arbor Michigan: The University of Michigan Press, 1943* 1 2 1 Moore, Virginia. The Li f e and Eager Death of Emily Bronte. London: Rich. and. Cowan, 1936• ~~~ • - • ' " Robertson. Graham. Time Was: 'Reminiscenoes. Londoh: Hamish : -Hamilton, 1931. Rossetti, William Michael. Dante Gabriel Rossetti as  Designer and Writer. London:. Cassell, 1559. Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin. Nouveaux Lundis. 13 vols. Paris: Calmann-Leyy, 1865. Scott, William B e l l . Autobiographical Notes...and Notices  of his A r t i s t i c and Poetical Circle of Er lends, 1830-1882. Edited by W. Minto. 2 vols. London: Osgood, 1892. . Sharp j William. Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Record rand /a fStudy. London: Macmillan,. 1882. ' ~~ ' Shute, Nerina. Victorian Love Story: A Study *of the'Victorian  Romantics Based on -the L i f e of Dante ^Gabriel Rossetti. London: Jarrolds, 1954. • - " Sit'well, Sacheverell. Dance of ; the Quick * and > the Dead. London: Paber, 1936. - ~" ' ~~ .. Smith, H.P.B. (ed.)• Peacock's Pour Ages of 'Poetry; 'Shelley's  Defence of 'Poetry, Browning's Essay ton'Shelley.*,* Oxford. Blackwell, 1953. -Street, Arthur E. "George Price iBoyce with Extracts from G.P. Boyce's Maries, 1851-1875," The/Old ^ Water-Colour  Society's 1 Clubi <• Nineteenth 1 Annual 'Volumes ^ Edited 'by Randall -Davies. -London: .Q-WJOJ-S.*-,' J1941. Suddard, Mary. 'Keatsj'Shelley; and Shakespeare:^Studies>and Essays 'in-'English•Literature.' 1Cambridgev .University Press, 1912. Swinburne, Algernon Charles. Essays »and Studies. 'London: Chatto and Windus, 1 9 0 1 . laugh; Evelyn. Rossetti: His 'Life - and -Works; London: Duckworth, 1928. Wellek, Rene, and Austin Warren. Theory *of 'Literature.' 'New York: Earcourt, Brace, 1 9 4 9 * 122 Wilson, Romer'[Florence Roma Muir Wilson O'Brien], A l l Alone:iThe t-Lif e•amd-* PrivateiHistory*of JEmily»Jane Bronte; London: Chatto and Windus, 1928. .Wimsatt, William K. and Cleanth Brooks. Literary'Criticism: A Short •History: 'New York: 'Knopf,-. Winwar, Frances [Frances (Vinciguerra) Grebanier]. Poor  SplendidjWings: The' Rossettis and Their-Circle; Boston: L i t t l e Brown, 1933• • ~~ Woolf, Virginia. Orlando: A Biography. London: Hogarth Press, 1933. III. ARTICLES AND PERIODICALS Angeli, Helen Madox Rossetti, Violet Hunt,.and R. Sunne; [Correspondence], Time and.Tide, iXIII, no; 2 (July* -December 1932), 1.October 1932, 2.October 1932, 8 October 1932, 22 October 1932, 5 November 1932. Blackmur, R.P. '»T;S. ' E l i o t H o u n d • and>Horn; I ('March; 1928). 187-213. - " "7 Bragman, Louis'J. "The Case of DanteiGabriel Rossetti," American<Journal>of'Psychiatry; *XOH (March!1936;, 1111-1172. - - - ..... . Cassidy, John H. "Robert Buchanan and The Fleshly Contro-versy," Publications of the Modern fLanguage '-Association; iXVII (March 1952), 65-93. ' ' ~ ~ "The C r i t i c a l Significance of Biographical. Evidence," .? English;Institute - Essays,-'1946. Doughty, Oswald and S i r Sidney Cocherell. [Correspondence], TimesiLite'raryiSupplement; .no; 2575 ( 8 June 1951), 357j no. 2579 (6 July 1951;, 421; no. 2585 (17 August 1951), 517; no. 2586 (24 August 1951), 533; no. 2588 -(7 September 1951), 565. E l l i s j Frank. H. "Gray!s Elegy: The .'Biographical Problem i n , Literary- Criticism," Publications * of ! the (Modern4 • •  Language • Association; LXVI ('1951J. 971-1008. 1 123 Fiedler, Leslie A. "Archetype and Signature: A Study?of the Relationship between Biography and Poetry," Sewanee 'Review; «L3L>(1952). 253-273. : .' Hueffer, Ford Madox. "D.G.H.," -Bookman*(London), XL-'(June 1911), 113-120. ~.. .. ; Knickerbocker, K.L. "Rossetti*s 'The Blessed Damozel'," Studies i n Philology. -XXIX (July 1932), 485-504* ~ Lewis, C.S. "Open Letter to Dr. T i l l y a r d , " Essays;and  Studies.' XX (1934), 7-20. „ . v . "The Personal Heresy i n Criticism," Essays ;and — Studies, XIX (1933), 7-28. „ 7" — Lindberg, John. "Rossetti 1s Cumaean Oracle," Victorian  Newsletter,'-no. 22 (Pall 1962),. pp. 20-2X. ~ ~ Macht, David I. and Nellie L. Gissford. "The Unfortunate Drug Experience of Dante Gabriel Rossetti," B u l l e t i n  of the Institute of a the -History ' of iMed-ieine; iVI " (1938),,34-61. :'r.-- ... Maitland, Thomas [Robert Buchanan]. "The Fleshly School of Poetry: Mr. D.G. Rossetti," Contemporary JReview; XVIII (October 1871), 334-350. ~ . Myersj F.W. "Rossetti and the Religion of Beauty," Bibelot, VIII.(October 1902), 337-367. - ~ — Paden,. W.D. "LaJPia de' Tolomei by Dante Gabriel Rossetti," B u l l e t i n of the Museum of Art (University of Kansas),-. II no. 1 (.November 195bJ. .. Prinsep, Valentine C. "Dante Gabriel Rossetti. A Chapter from a Painter's Reminiscences," Magazine of Art, XXVII, n.s. II (1904), 281-286. - ~ ~ ~ ~ " . . "The Oxford Circl e : Rossetti, Burne-Jones, and 'William Morris. A.Chapter from a Painter's Remin-•iscence[s],"-Magazine of .Art, XXVII,tn.s. II (1904), 167-172. ... . "Robillard, Douglas J. "Rossetti's 'Willowwood' Sonnets and the Structure of the Housesof.Life," The.Victorian  Newsletter, no. 22 ( F a l l 1962), pp.-5^9. 124 Saintsbury, George E. "The Poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti," Bookman.(London). XL (June 1911), 120-127. T i l l y a r d , E.M.W. "The Personal Heresy i n Criticism: A Re •joinder," Essays and-Studies, XX (1934), 7 -20 . Tisdel, F.M. "Rossetti's•'House of L i f e 1 , " Modern/Philology. XV (September 1917;):, -257-276. . , - — — — Troxell, Janet Camp. "The 'T r i a l Books' of D.G. Rossetti," Colophon, n.s. I l l (Spring 1938) , .243 -258. Wallerstein, Ruth. "Personal Experience i n Rossetti's 'House of L i f e ' , " Publications of the Modern Language -Association. XLII (June 19271. 492-504.-WattsC-Dunton], Theodore. "The L i f e of D.G. Rossetti," Spectator, LXXVI, no.-3539 (2 A p r i l 1896), 596-597-. "The Truth about Rossetti," Nineteenth Century. XI.ll (March 1883), 404-423. ~ -, and F.G. Stephens. "Mr. Dante Gabriel Rossetti," AtEenaeum. no. 2842 (15 April.1 8 8 2 ) , 480-482. Waugh, Evelyn. "Rossetti's Wife," Spectator. CXLIX no. 5441 (8 October - .1932), 449. . . - -. ^. "Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Centenary Review," - Fortnightly Review, CXXIX, n.s. CXXIII (May 1 9 2 8 ; . 595-604. White, Newman I. "The Development, Use and Abuse of Inter-pretation, in-Biography," English Institute Essays. 1942, 29 -58. - — J a — Williamson, H.R. "The Lost Letter," Time and Tide, XL (14 March 1959), 305-307. ~ •-• - - -Worsfold, W. B a s i l . "The Poetry of D.G. Rossetti," Nineteenth Century, XXXIV (August 1893), 284*290. 

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