'Jenny' by D G Rossetti


Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s 1870 volume Poems established the Pre-Raphaelite artist’s poetic reputation. Notoriously Rossetti exhumed the manuscript containing many of these poems from the grave of his wife, Elizabeth Siddal, who had been died in 1862; the volume attracted further controversy over the sensual and sexually explicit content of certain poems.

One of those controversial poems was ‘Jenny’, shown here. ‘Jenny’ is long dramatic monologue about a woman working as a prostitute, narrated from the point of view of her male customer.

This volume is affectionately inscribed in Rossetti’s own hand,

To Janey Morris,
from her affectionate friend
D Gabriel R
April 1870

Jane Morris was an artist’s model and the muse of Rossetti and her husband, William Morris. She and Rossetti were involved in a complicated liaison or affair over many years.

Full title:
1870, London
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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