Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The House of Life by Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Sonnet-Sequence

The House of Life by Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Sonnet-Sequence: A Variorum Edition with Introduction and Notes

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Edited by Roger C. Lewis
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 327
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The House of Life by Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Sonnet-Sequence
    Book Description:

    Described by W.S. Blunt as 'the greatest of the all the great Victorian poems', this sequence of 103 sonnets was composed between 1847 and 1881, and finally published complete in Ballads and Sonnets just six months before Rossetti's death. These passionate celebrations of the ecstasy of love threatened by change and Fate inspired the Aesthetes and Decadents of the eighties and nineties, leading to Walter Pater's Mona Lisa and Oscar Wilde's Salome.BR > This new edition of Rossetti's poetic masterpiece is presented here with Introduction, Notes and definitive texts and date. All variants are given for each poem (some sonnets exist in as many as eight versions), and each sonnet is given a documented date of composition and first publication. The illustrations include some rarely-seen images, notably a self-portrait by Elizabeth Siddal, the poet's wife, in whose coffin he placed his original poems, only to exhume them eight years later. ROGER C. LEWIS is Emeritus Professor of English, Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-557-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-ix)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. x-x)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Note on the Edited Text and Apparatus
    (pp. xiii-xv)
  6. List of Abbreviations and Sigla
    (pp. xvi-xxi)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-26)

    In 1909, Wilfred S. Blunt, author of the sonnet sequenceEsther,asserted to Sir Sydney Cockerell that he considered Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s 103-sonnet poemThe House of Life‘the greatest of all the great Victorian poems’. This image of its loftiness has been popular among the poem’s would-be interpreters, who regard it as an unscaled, perhaps unscalable, pinnacle among Victorian peaks. Certainly, its textual complexities are formidable, and it is impossible to attempt an authoritative interpretation of theHousewithout the benefit of a proper critical edition. The final version, which appeared inBallads and Sonnets(1881), contained sonnets written...

  8. Sonnet Texts and Notes
    (pp. 27-35)
  9. [PROEM Sonnet]
    (pp. 35-38)
  10. Part I. Youth and Change.

    • Sonnet I. Love Enthroned.
      (pp. 39-40)
    • Sonnet II. Bridal Birth.
      (pp. 40-41)
    • Sonnet III. Love’s Testament.
      (pp. 42-44)
    • Sonnet IV. Lovesight.
      (pp. 44-45)
    • Sonnet V. Heart’s Hope.
      (pp. 46-47)
    • Sonnet VI. The Kiss.
      (pp. 47-48)
    • Sonnet VIa. Nuptial Sleep.
      (pp. 48-51)
    • Sonnet VII. Supreme Surrender.
      (pp. 52-54)
    • Sonnet VIII. Love’s Lovers.
      (pp. 55-56)
    • Sonnet IX. Passion and Worship.
      (pp. 56-57)
    • Sonnet X. The Portrait.
      (pp. 58-61)
    • Sonnet XI. The Love-Letter.
      (pp. 61-62)
    • Sonnet XII. The Lovers’ Walk.
      (pp. 63-65)
    • Sonnet XIII. Youth’s Antiphony.
      (pp. 65-66)
    • Sonnet XIV. Youth’s Spring-Tribute.
      (pp. 67-67)
    • Sonnet XV. The Birth-Bond.
      (pp. 68-69)
    • Sonnet XVI. A Day of Love.
      (pp. 70-71)
    • Sonnet XVII. Beauty’s Pageant.
      (pp. 71-72)
    • Sonnet XVIII. Genius in Beauty.
      (pp. 72-73)
    • Sonnet XIX. Silent Noon.
      (pp. 73-76)
    • Sonnet XX. Gracious Moonlight.
      (pp. 76-77)
    • Sonnet XXI. Love-Sweetness.
      (pp. 78-79)
    • Sonnet XXII. Heart’s Haven.
      (pp. 80-81)
    • Sonnet XXIII. Love’s Baubles.
      (pp. 82-82)
    • Sonnet XXIV. Pride of Youth.
      (pp. 83-85)
    • Sonnet XXV. Winged Hours.
      (pp. 85-86)
    • Sonnet XXVI. Mid-Rapture.
      (pp. 86-87)
    • Sonnet XXVII. Heart’s Compass.
      (pp. 87-88)
    • Sonnet XXVIII. Soul-Light.
      (pp. 88-89)
    • Sonnet XXIX. The Moonstar.
      (pp. 90-91)
    • Sonnet XXX. Last Fire.
      (pp. 91-92)
    • Sonnet XXXI. Her Gifts.
      (pp. 92-93)
    • Sonnet XXXII. Equal Troth.
      (pp. 94-95)
    • Sonnet XXXIII. Venus Victrix.
      (pp. 96-97)
    • Sonnet XXXIV. The Dark Glass.
      (pp. 97-98)
    • Sonnet XXXV. The Lamp’s Shrine.
      (pp. 98-100)
    • Sonnet XXXVI. Life-in-Love.
      (pp. 100-101)
    • Sonnet XXXVII. The Love-Moon.
      (pp. 102-102)
    • Sonnet XXXVIII. The Morrow’s Message.
      (pp. 103-103)
    • Sonnet XXXIX. Sleepless Dreams.
      (pp. 104-105)
    • Sonnet XL. Severed Selves.
      (pp. 106-107)
    • Sonnet XLI. Through Death to Love.
      (pp. 107-109)
    • Sonnet XLII. Hope Overtaken.
      (pp. 109-110)
    • Sonnet XLIII. Love and Hope.
      (pp. 111-112)
    • Sonnet XLIV. Cloud and Wind.
      (pp. 112-113)
    • Sonnet XLV. Secret Parting.
      (pp. 113-115)
    • Sonnet XLVI. Parted Love.
      (pp. 115-116)
    • Sonnet XLVII. Broken Music.
      (pp. 116-117)
    • Sonnet XLVIII. Death-in-Love.
      (pp. 117-118)
    • Sonnets XLIX, L, LI, LII. Willowwood.
      (pp. 119-128)
    • Sonnet LIII. Without Her.
      (pp. 129-129)
    • Sonnet LIV. Love’s Fatality.
      (pp. 130-130)
    • Sonnet LV. Stillborn Love.
      (pp. 131-133)
    • Sonnets LVI., LVII., LVIII. True Woman.
      (pp. 133-141)
    • Sonnet LIX. Love’s Last Gift.
      (pp. 142-142)
    • End of Part I.
      (pp. 142-143)
  11. Part II. Change and Fate.

    • Sonnet LX. Transfigured Life.
      (pp. 144-145)
    • Sonnet LXI. The Song-Throe.
      (pp. 146-147)
    • Sonnet LXII. The Soul’s Sphere.
      (pp. 147-148)
    • Sonnet LXIII. Inclusiveness.
      (pp. 149-151)
    • Sonnet LXIV. Ardour and Memory.
      (pp. 151-154)
    • Sonnet LXV. Known in Vain.
      (pp. 154-155)
    • Sonnet LXVI. The Heart of the Night.
      (pp. 155-157)
    • Sonnet LXVII. The Landmark.
      (pp. 157-158)
    • Sonnet LXVIII. A Dark Day.
      (pp. 158-160)
    • Sonnet LXIX. Autumn Idleness.
      (pp. 161-163)
    • Sonnet LXX. The Hill Summit.
      (pp. 164-166)
    • Sonnet LXXI., LXXII., LXXIII. The Choice.
      (pp. 167-172)
    • Sonnet LXXIV., LXXV., LXXVI. Old and New Art.
      (pp. 172-178)
    • Sonnet LXXVII. Soul’s Beauty.
      (pp. 179-180)
    • Sonnet LXXVIII. Body’s Beauty.
      (pp. 181-183)
    • Sonnet LXXIX. The Monochord.
      (pp. 184-186)
    • Sonnet LXXX. From Dawn to Noon.
      (pp. 186-187)
    • Sonnet LXXXI. Memorial Thresholds.
      (pp. 187-188)
    • Sonnet LXXXII. Hoarded Joy.
      (pp. 189-191)
    • Sonnet LXXXIII. Barren Spring.
      (pp. 191-192)
    • Sonnet LXXXIV. Farewell to the Glen.
      (pp. 193-194)
    • Sonnet LXXXV. Vain Virtues.
      (pp. 195-196)
    • Sonnet LXXXVI. Lost Days.
      (pp. 196-197)
    • Sonnet LXXXVII. Death’s Songsters.
      (pp. 197-199)
    • Sonnet LXXXVIII. Hero’s Lamp.
      (pp. 200-202)
    • Sonnet LXXXIX. The Trees of the Garden.
      (pp. 202-204)
    • Sonnet XC. “Retro Me, Sathana!”
      (pp. 204-206)
    • Sonnet XCI. Lost on Both Sides.
      (pp. 207-208)
    • Sonnets XCII., XCIII. The Sun’s Shame.
      (pp. 209-211)
    • Sonnet XCIV. Michelangelo’s Kiss.
      (pp. 212-214)
    • Sonnet XCV. The Vase of Life.
      (pp. 214-215)
    • Sonnet XCVI. Life the Beloved.
      (pp. 215-216)
    • Sonnet XCVII. A Superscription.
      (pp. 216-218)
    • Sonnet XCVIII. He and I.
      (pp. 218-219)
    • Sonnets XCIX., C. Newborn Death.
      (pp. 219-222)
    • Sonnet CI. The One Hope.
      (pp. 223-223)
    • End of the House of Life.
      (pp. 223-226)
  12. Appendix One. Dating and Ordonnance
    (pp. 227-246)
  13. Appendix Two. Poems: Proof States
    (pp. 247-249)
  14. Appendix Three. Poems: Chronolgy 1868–71
    (pp. 250-253)
  15. Bibliography of Works Cited or Consulted
    (pp. 298-302)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 303-303)