Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Mentions of Lizzie in Rossetti’s letters to his family:

be glad of the Spec . What do you think of Poole’s picture? and of Collins?

The indefatigable and invaluable Barbara has been getting up a plan for Lizzy’s entering another place, since we rejected the Sussex Hospital. This is the “Sanatorium” which she describes as being in Harley Street, New Road, London , “where governesses and ladies of small means are taken in and cured.” It contains only about twenty or thirty patients or so, and is, she says, most admirably managed, the object being to make it as much like a home as possible. It seems Miss Smith has a relation connected with the management of this place, and has already made arrangements by which Miss Siddal can enter at once if she likes, or else put it off for a little and then enter. She wrote to her about it this morning, and certainly it seems a not unpleasant plan if necessary. I wish now that Maggy would oblige me by enquiring of Aunt Charlotte, or any one else who might be at all likely to have heard of the place, any particulars that could be got, and writing them to me as soon as possible. I should be much obliged.

Love to all.
Yours,
D. G. R.

I wish I had thought of getting that shawl which Aunt Charlotte kindly promised me for Lizzy before I left London, as it would be just the thing. Remember me most kindly to Scott if you see him.

If you are seeing Millais, I wish you would ask him whether he knows anything of Deverell’s Twelfth Night which Miller sent to Gambart, or of the projected raffle. I called one day at Gambart’s, but he was then out of town.

“I wrote at some length to Ruskin the other day.” The acquaintance of my brother with Mr. Ruskin began in April 1854, when Ruskin addressed him by letter. The initials which I give—A. B, and D—are not the correct initials.


The next letter is just a short note explaining that he will not be leaving Hastings yet due to Lizzie’s health:

[Hastings.]
Thursday 25 May 1854.
Dear William,

I think I shall not be in town till the beginning of next week, though I thought to have been there before this. Lizzy seems rather weaker the last day or two, though I trust not permanently, and I do not like to leave her just at this time.

I heard from Millais yesterday, who it seems is leaving or has left London, and tells me Allingham is going back to Ireland and the Customs. I trust not till I can see him again.

Miss Smith has lent me Ruskin’s Lectures, where there is only a slight though very friendly mention of me. They are very interesting.

I am sending you back the Spec. , and write these few words to tell you of my delay in leaving here, but am not in any writing mood, so good-bye.
Your affectionate Brother,
D. G. Rossetti.

Love to Mamma and all.

This short letter is explained by William: “Where a — is printed in this letter, the original gives a rapid hieroglyphic of a dove, by which my brother indicated Miss Siddal.” This excited note (complete with three exclamation marks !!!) shares the news that Ruskin has become Lizzie’s patron.

[14 Chatham Place.
12 April 1855.]
Dear W—,

I’m wanting much to see — this evening; and, as I have not found her in just now, must go again this evening, and am dining meanwhile with Hannay. I therefore apologize duly for not meeting you, and going on to see Ruskin, whom I saw this morning, and who is going to settle £150 a year immediately on — !!! This is no joke, but fact. I shall bring her on Saturday to tea.

Next, he mentions Lizzie in a letter to his Aunt Charlotte:

Blackfriars Bridge.
Thursday [3 May 1855].
Dear Aunt Charlotte,

If, as you propose, Lady Bath and Lord Ashburton will drive to the College any time between half-past seven till ten on Monday evening, and ask for me, that will do well; or, if she preferred my meeting her anywhere else, I should be happy to do just as she liked. To see the system of teaching in full force, they ought by rights to visit Mr. Ruskin’s class some Thursday evening as well—as his class is of longer standing and far better organized than mine. After your first message (viz., that Lady Bath wished to go some Thursday evening, which I find was owing to a misapprehension) I asked Mr. Ruskin about it, and he said it would give him much pleasure.

Thanks for your sympathy with Miss Siddal, whose good fortune could not have been better deserved, or more gratifying to her than to me. I hope to introduce her to you some day at Albany Street. Mr. Ruskin has now settled on her £150 a year, and is to have all she does up to that sum. He is likely also to be of great use to me personally (for the use to her is also use to me), and I am doing two or three water- colours for him. He is the best friend I ever had

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