4 December 2009
BROWNING, Elizabeth Barrett. Autograph manuscript, the sonnet "H. S. Boyd -- Legacies," ("Three gifts the dying left me..."), n.d. [ca.1849].
1 page, 8o. (Title and last line in a slightly different ink). Cloth protective slipcase.
One of three sonnets written in memory of Hugh Stuart Boyd, a friend and admirer, who died in 1848. The memorial sonnet was first published in Poems (1850). Browning takes as her theme the three modest bequests from Boyd: an edition of Aeschylus, an edition of Gregory Nazianzen and a clock. The tenth line of the sonnet in this manuscript was altered considerably for the published version. An interesting feature of the manuscript is that the verso bears the heading "Sonnets from the Portuguese" with a double rule, suggestive of a manuscript title. Presumably Browning intended to transcribe one of the sonnets on this sheet, then laid it aside. Coley and Kelley, The Browning Collections, D355.
Provenance: Arthur Houghton (sale Christie's London, 13 June 1979, lot 69).
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