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Publisher Description

Among the year's more significant publications are two new volumes of Dante Rossetti's and Christina Rossetti's collected letters. The Chelsea Years, 1863-1872, Prelude to Crisis, Volume IV, 1868-1870 is the fourth of nine projected volumes in William E. Fredeman's The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, edited after his death by Roger C. Lewis, Jane Cowan, Roger W. Peattie, Allan Life, and Page Life. This physically attractive volume offers clear summaries and chronologies and a color frontispiece of Rossetti's flame-toned "Sybilla Palmifera," as well as many letters unavailable in the 1965 Doughty-Wahl edition. Scholars acquainted with Jan Marsh's recent biography and John Bryson's edition of Rossetti's correspondence with Jane Morris will find few surprises, but the volume's notes elucidate many obscure references, and its temporal collocation throws Rossetti's activities and growing obsessions into sharper relief. Deferral of the current volume's index to volume five is a somewhat unfortunate inevitability, for its many allusions cry out for a more extensive network of references. Admirers of Rossetti's poetry may find this the series' most important volume, for it includes many observations about the verse he gathered, rewrote, and recomposed for his Poems (1870), as well as a critical obligato of commentary--often generous and perceptive--on the work of Tennyson, Morris, Browning, Swinburne, Philip Marston, Thomas Hake, and others. He also penned a number of intense letters to Jane Morris, as well as more reflective accounts of his views and activities to William Bell Scott, Alice Boyd, Ford Madox Brown, Swinburne, and others. Rossetti's circle clearly contracted during this period, but it remained broad enough to reflect a wide range of artistic and literary contacts as well as his mature intellectual life.

Professional & Technical
22 September
West Virginia University Press, University of West Virginia
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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