ROSSETTI, Dante Gabriel (1828-1882). Dante Gabriel Rossetti, His Family Letters, with a Memoir by William Michael Rossetti. London: Ellis and Elvey, 1895. 2 volumes, 8° (247 x 161mm). Original dark blue cloth with Rossetti's gilt monogram on upper covers, vellum-backed with gilt-lettering, uncut (some staining on fly-leaves). Provenance: The Library of William Morris Kelmscott House Hammersmith (bookplate) -- James William Ellsworth (ex-libris) (with letter signed ('John Skinner') on headed paper to James W. Ellsworth, Albany NY, 28 December 1905, 2 pages, 4to, inserted -- purchased from Rosenbach, Philadelphia, 27 Decmeber 1943, $25.
FIRST EDITION. LIMITED TO 50 LARGE PAPER COPIES, volume II numbered 20. ASSOCIATION COPY, with pictorial frontispiece. The first volume contains a lengthy biography by the poet's brother, William, particularly rich in details for the earlier years. Rossetti is described as having 'prized rectitude', 'shunned meanness' and been a strong wilful leader. In the second volume, the editor reprints 317 letters from Rossetti to members of his family. These often reveal a colourful and extravagant personality: they are witty, sometimes coarse, irreverent, and demonstrate the wide range of his artistic interests.
ROSSETTI, William Michael (1829-1919). Ruskin: Rossetti: Preraphaelitism. Papers 1854 to 1862. London: George Allen, 1899. 4° (254 x 183mm). With 15 photogravure plates. Original green cloth, backed in cream cloth, gilt floral mosaic stamped on front cover, uncut. Provenance: W.F.G. (bookplate with initials, depicting bust of Oscar Wilde).
NUMBER 142 OF 250 COPIES PRINTED ON LARGE PAPER. The volume contains forty letters from Dante Gabriel Rossetti to his wife, his brother, Madox Brown, and others; together with seventy letters from Ruskin to Rossetti, letters from Browning, William Bell Scott, and others, and items related to such matters as Morris and Company or the Hogarth Club. William Rossetti became 'honorary secretary' to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, headed by his older brother Dante Gabriel during 1849-50, and kept a Preraphaelite Diary for four years. He subsequently coordinated the first publication of their journal The Germ, intended as an expression of the brethren's aesthetic creed, and promoted its circulation in London literary society (see F.L. Fennell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. An Annotated Bibliography, 1982, p.36). (3)