Folger call number: V.b.393
Folger holdings ID: 495000
Accession Number: 269367
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Item information about Folger V.b.393
Sotheby's catalog description: Autograph manuscript poem beginning "The Third which doth my painefull life sustaine". An elegy following the death of his wife, Venetia, (neÌe Stanley), 53 lines in five stanzas of nine lines and one stanza of eight lines signed at the end with a monogram ("KD"), three pages, folio (290 x 195 mm), 1630s; spotting, tears neatly repaired, remains of former mount on final verso. Red morocco- backed folding-box Sotheby's catalog note: An unpublished poem that forms part of one of the most famous love stories of the seventeenth century. Venetia Stanley (1600-1633) was a celebrated beauty at the Jacobean court who married her childhood sweetheart, the courtier and natural philosopher Kenelm Digby. Their happy marriage was celebrated in paintings commissioned from Van Dyke and Isaac Oliver but lasted less than ten years before Venetia's sudden decline and death. Digby was devastated but found some solace in extravagant expressions of grief, ensuring Venetia's life and death were commemorated by many of the greatest poets of the day, including Ben Jonson, and himself writing a series of elegies of which this poem, which returns repeatedly to the absence of his beloved, is a typical example. This poem was probably originally part of a volume of Digby's papers that remained with the Bright family, descendants of Kenelm Digby. When that volume was edited for the Roxburghe Club in 1877, Henry A. Bright noted that the volume was incomplete as some papers had been "given away as autographs." The remaining volume remained with the family until 2014 (Christie's London, 16 July 2014, lot 33) Acquired at the Robert S. Pirie sale, Sotheby's, New York, 2-4 December 2015, lot 252 Sotheby's catalog provenance: George Manners, FSA, FLS (Sotheby's, 20 May 1880, lot 42, to Wilkinson) - Bloomsbury Book Auctions, 23 April 1997, lot 165. acquisition: Bernard Quaritch, 1998 Adopted by Deborah Payne, Acquisitions Night 2016
Also known as
former owner: Pirie, Robert S.