Introduction to Dante and His Circle [introduction to Part II of The Early Italian Poets, Part I of Dante and His Circle]

Alternately titled: Dante and his Circle

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1861
Genre: literary commentary


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the The Early Italian Poets text.

Scholarly Commentary


Along with the “Preface” to The Early Italian Poets, this Introduction to the section focused on Dante and his circle is one of DGR's most important critical writings. Only “Hand and Soul” contains more trenchant explications of DGR's leading aesthetic ideas, and in that case the focus is on painting rather than writing.

Textual History: Composition

DGR probably wrote these notes on Dante and his circle fairly late—probably in 1860 or in early or mid-1861, when he was putting the whole book of translations together. As with the related critical material that he included in The Early Italian Poets, the essay on “Poets Chiefly before Dante”, not many manuscript materials survive that relate to this essay. One of those that does survive is watermarked 1859. The largest single set of these materials is housed in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center—four pages of notes in English and Italian.

Printing History

First published in 1861 in The Early Italian Poets; it was reprinted in 1874 in Dante and his Circle.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 4p-1861.raw.xml