With Two Designs by D.G. Rossetti. Cambridge: Macmillan and Co., 1862. Original dark blue cloth decorated in gilt and blind.
First Edition of Christina Rossetti's first volume of verse (other than her 1847 one, privately printed by her grandfather when she was only 17). "Goblin Market" is an intensely erotic poem about two sisters, written at a time when "Chief outlet for her [Christina's] affections was [her older sister] Maria, who could not have guessed at the intensity of repressed and unrecognized erotic feeling which was subconsciously transferred to her." (Weintraub p. 103; to quote further, at length:)
"Goblin Market"... became on publication... a Victorian nursery classic, like many works somehow considered appropriate for children -- ALICE IN WONDERLAND was the prime contemporary example [in fact, said to have been influenced by this poem] -- actually full of sinister, subterranean echoes fortunately too sophisticated for their understanding. It is quite possible that Christina herself, in her lurid tale about two maiden sisters who become involved with a tribe of scary goblins, had no idea how deeply she was probing her own psyche... [In the end one sister] runs home to her sister, crying,
Come and kiss me,
Never mind my bruises,
Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeezed from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me...
Christina's brother Dante Gabriel created the frontispiece and the vignette title page, and designed the binding, of this book.
This copy does not have an ad catalogue at the rear, as some do. Condition is near-fine (endpapers slightly cracked, trifling wear at the top end of the joints); DGR's circle-and-line gilt binding design remains bright. We have never been able to offer a better copy. Colbeck II p. 689.
Provenance: the front endpaper verso bears the inked inscription "Caroline Grantoff with MBS's best love": Caroline Grantoff (1824 - c.1882) was a minor author, whose JANET MOWBRAY had been published in three volumes by Hurst & Blackett in 1854. Item #14345