In 1862, just two years after their marriage, Rossetti's lovely wife, Elizabeth Siddal, killed herself with an overdose of laudanum. Siddal, for whom most of Rossetti's poems had been written, had meant the world to Rossetti, who, in his grief, wrapped a small book of unpublished poems in her long golden hair and consigned them to her grave.

Many years later, Rossetti, regretting his decision, obtained permission to open the grave. The book was retrieved and its contents (with minor additions) were published in 1870.

[The volume, simply entitled Poems, was, of course, an immediate success.]

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