Modern Love and the Poems of the English Roadside, with Poems and Ballads. George Meredith.
Modern Love and the Poems of the English Roadside, with Poems and Ballads

Presentation Copy to Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Modern Love and the Poems of the English Roadside, with Poems and Ballads.

London: Chapman & Hall, 1862.

First edition. viii, 216 pp. 8vo. Presentation Copy to Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Publisher's green wave grain cloth, spine titled in gilt (Carter's variant A). Front cover stained and with fraying to cloth at lower edge, ink shelfmark stamp to ffep. Collie XXXVIIa; Forman, Meredith 8; Hayward 271; Tinker 1551. Item #304210

Presentation copy, inscribed by Meredith to Dante Gabriel Rossetti on the title-page: "Dante Gabriel Rossetti, from his friend, George Meredith" and with corrections in the author's hand. The Hayward exhibition copy, also inscribed and corrected, had a note in Merdith's hand apologizing for "Errata ennumerable".
Meredith's novel Evan Harrington was serialized in Once a Week in 1860, and it was through contacts at the magazine that the author met Rossetti. Meredith's frequent London commitments in 1862-3 led to him spending Thursday nights at Rossetti's Chelsea home (where Swinburne was also a guest). Around this time, Meredith served as a model for Jesus in Rossetti's "Mary Magdalene at the gate of Simon the Pharisee".
Modern Love — "the most painfully personal of his works" (ODNB) — is a 50-sonnet sequence which documents the breakdown of Meredith's first marriage.

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