Date 1874-10-10
Publication Academy
Topic Rebut Blake publisher criticism of WMR review
AP display
RA display
Subject literature
Keywords copyright
  ↳ accuracy
  ↳ facts
  ↳ rebuttal
Standards facts analyzed
  ↳ validated/debunked
Notes WMR Blake review Sep. 5, 1874, Academy.

Annotation details

74 October 10 Academy


rebut criticism of WMR edition of Blake.


Rossetti, William M. "The Poems of William Blake." Academy (October 10, 1874): 127. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti takes issue with the publisher of a collection of William Blake's poetry (The Poems of William Blake, comprising Songs of Innocence and Experience, together with Poetical Sketches, and some Copyright Poems not in any other Edition) regarding two matters of inaccuracy contained in a pamphlet issued by the publisher.

The pamphlet takes issue with Rossetti's review of the book and Rossetti disputes both points and reaffirms his original view of the poetry and the copyrights issues Pickering disputes.

Although Rossetti did indirectly "impugn the veracity of the title" as Pickering stated in the pamphlet by stating that there were in fact not several unpublished poems in the Shepherd collection, Rossetti claims what he did was and is a matter of clarification regarding copyright specifics. He also specifies which supposedly "new" poems were previously published by Pickering in 1863 and 1866.

Rossetti describes a dispute regarding copyrights and Blake's work in a letter to Swinburne dated March 4, 1874. In Rossetti's opinion, the Pickering collection edited by Shepherd contained some of Blake's work that was unpublished until they were published in Gilchrist's book years before Pickering acquired the copyright (Letters 311).


historian, corrective


correction, reaffirm, accuracy

Standards of Judgment:

facts, clarification, accuracy


Pickering, R.H. Shepherd, Gilchrist


rebuttal, definitive

Writing technique/tone:

curt, incisive, deliberate


"Now there was no reason whatever for accusing the 'Messrs. Rossetti' of anything of the sort. I, being one of the two Messrs. Rossetti, had nothing at all to do with the selecting or editing of the poems of Blake in that book."

Works Cited

Rossetti, William Michael. Selected Letters of William Michael Rossetti. Ed. Roger Peattie. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1990. Print.