The Queen's Page

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1854 June


◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 32 (no. 66).

Scholarly Commentary


DGR made this drawing to illustrate William Allingham's poem “The Queen's Page”, a translation from Heine's “Es war ein alte könig” (from Heine's Neue Gedichte, 1844). Allingham recounts the event of DGR's drawing in a note that he published with the poem in his 1888 collection Flower Pieces and Other Poems: “In the summer of 1854 I had room in quiet, shady little Queen's Square, Bloomsbury (corner house on the left as you come out of Southampton Row), and there one afternoon appeared, as it often did, the welcome face of Gabriel Rossetti. ‘Would I come out with him?’ ‘With the greatest pleasure, if he could wait a little while.’ He took a book and sat silent. A quarter of an hour or so later (it was a scribbling book of mine that was in his hands) he had made a pen and ink drawing in it opposite to a translation of a poem of Heine's twelve lines long, which he had never seen before. I think he was not dissatisfied with this rapid design, which he signed and dated, and that many will be gratified by its reproduction. The size of the original is six inches by four and a quarter.” (page 194). The present location of the drawing, dated “June 9/54”, is not known.

Allingham's book gathers new and old poems, and because it included his celebrated “The Maids of Elfin-Mere”, he reprinted DGR's even more celebrated illustration of the poem as his book's frontispiece.


The subject of the poem is common in the history of the ballad. DGR handled it brilliantly in “Dennis Shand”.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s66.raw.xml