THE earliest of these tales dates back to 1852, the latest was finished in 1870: a lapse of years sufficient to account for modifications of tone and style.
'Pros and Cons,' and 'The Waves of this Troublesome World,' were written each with a special object; which special object will, I hope, be accepted as my apology if the latter tale is judged too childish.
Not one of the stories is founded on fact. This might not seem worth stating, had I not reason to fear that one or two of my kindest friends have viewed 'The Lost Titian' somewhat in the light of an imposture. I therefore take this opportunity of putting on record that I am not conversant with any tradition which points to the existence of a lost picture by that great master with whose name I have made free.
C. G. R.
About: Those who have known Miss Rossetti's handiwork from the time when, under the pseudonym of "Ellen Alleyn," she produced her masterly paraphrase of "Ecclesiastes" and her exquisite sad lyric "Dreamland," up to these later years of poetic labour productive of such results as the dirge in the "Prince's Progress," would pronounce " Commonplace " a title most undescriptive of anything that lady could possibly produce in verse or prose; and while " Commonplace " is a very capital title for the chief story in this volume, the book is just as far from commonplace as the author's accustomed audience would anticipate.
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