Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1870. Hardcover. 8vo. The uncommon FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. This was to be Rossetti’s last attempt at fiction. The title story, Commonplace, was a Jane Austen-like work of satirical social observation and commentary. It was the tale of three parentless sisters and their paths to marriage or another fate. It was published May 5, 1870, and was not well-received, unlike her earlier poetical works. Bound in original green publisher’s cloth with gilt title and author to spine. Very good plus except for wear to top and bottom of spine and bumping to board corners. Dark brown endpapers. There is light spotting to front endpapers, title page and contents page as well as to fore-edges, otherwise the interior is clean and bright. Some pages have very light creases to upper right margins. An extremely nice copy of Rossetti’s last fictional work. 329 pages plus 5 pages of ads. PRERAPH/102407. Very Good +.
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London: Stangeways and Walden, . First edition. A unique and most interesting offering - a scarce privately printed book accompanied by only recently published handwritten letters from Rossetti's brother, William Michael (the texts of the letters were published for the first time in "Notes and Queries," Oxford University Press, in January 17, 2011). This is a privately printed edition of a story that had first appeared in The Germ in 1850. Dante Gabriel Rossetti originally intended to include this prose story in his volume of verse, but decided not to following the recovery of his poetical manuscript notebook from the grave of his wife, Elizabeth Siddal. This short story offers a manifesto for the Aesthetic and Decadent movements. It tells the tale of a fictional Renaissance poet who realizes that the artist's only duty is to express what is in his soul. This pamphlet is an offprint from the typesetting found in proofs produced between October 30 and November 25 1869. William Rossetti notes when his brother excluded the story from his published verse he had various copies of Hand and Soul done up in drab wrappers, and that he gave some away but never sold them. Both Thomas Wise and Charles Fairfax Murray state, without citing any authority, that one hundred copies were printed. About thirty can now be accounted for. All but a handful are in institutional collections, most deriving from a cache discovered by William after Dante Gabriel's death in 1882. William Michael Rossetti sent this copy to an admirer of his family, Louisa Douglas Summerbell. She was an artist and illuminator much influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites. Rossetti has inscribed the book "To Miss L. Douglas Summerbell with the friendly regards of Wm. Rossetti June 1896." Written above this in William's hand is a six-line explanation of the pamphlet's publishing history. Bound in are five important signed autograph letters, seventeen pages in all, from William Rossetti to Miss Summerbell, written between 1896 and 1906, in which he discusses at length the writings of Dante Gabriel, Christina and himself. In original buff printed wrappers that Summerbell had neatly sewn into limp green cloth along with the letters and laid into a beautiful 19th-century handmade leather case showing some rubbing. On the preliminary leaf of the cloth bound book is a note that it had passed to her friend, Ruth Johnston. From the celebrated poetry collection of Gerald N. Wachs and included in an exhibition of his collection at the Grolier Club in 1995. Pamphlet in very good collection bound into near fine cloth book. Housed in a green cloth covered clamshell box with black and gilt title label to spine. Near Fine.
London: Chapman and Hall, 1862. Millais, J.E. Hardcover. First edition in book form. Illustrated by the Pre-Raphaelite artist, John Everett Millais (1829 - 1896). Includes 40 illustrations. In original brown publishers cloth with blind stamped designs to boards and decorated gilt titles to spines. Both volumes have been expertly rebacked with new material showing along the spine ends and hinges of both spines. Modern endpapers. Wear to the edges and corners of both volumes with fraying and chipping along the edges of the remnants of the original spines. Minor foxing to plates and to pages facing the plates including the title page; the rest of the interior is clean. 320 pages in volume one; 384 pages in volume two. May require extra shipping fee. LIT/032713. Very Good.