Sister Helen (Princeton galley proofs, August 1869)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: Sister Helen
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of composition: 1869 August
Collation: 1 large sheet in 3 columns


Current Location: Princeton University Library

Scholarly Commentary


This is the first of the proof materials that DGR had pulled in 1869 as he prepared for the eventual publication of his 1870 Poems . The proof was made in late July or early August.

Notable are the three numbers “1”, “2”, and “3” below each text column. Another surviving galley proof—for the ballad “Dennis Shand”—is similarly numbered, in that case “5”. What was on galley 4 is not known for certain, nor do we know whether any additional galleys were set in type. But other surviving fragments of galley proof strongly suggest that galley 4 contained the following, both of which survive in truncated documents that show they were part of this typesetting: “On the Site of a Mulberry-Tree; Planted by Wm Shakspeare; felled by the Rev. F. Gastrell”; “After the French Liberation of Italy”. I suspect that the galley also contained “Autumn Song”. Along with “After the French Liberation of Italy”, this was one of the poems printed by T. J. Wise in his spurious 1881 printing of Verses . DGR himself referred to this galley printing in a letter of 25 February 1880 to Hall Caine (see Correspondence, 80.62). I also suspect that no more than 5 pages of this galley were printed.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
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