By dating Dantis Tenebræ to 1861,2 William Michael Rossetti associates it directly with the publication of The Early Italian Poets,3 the anthology of medieval poems his brother translated between his eighteenth and his twenty-second year. Clearly enough, the cultural legacy of Gabriele Rossetti, whose life-long, excruciating journey into Dante Alighieri’s fi gural thought is tinged in the sonnet with the darkness of mysterious hermeneutic paths, bears import on Dante Gabriel’s own study and re-working of Italian medieval poetry and painting. While the double national and cultural identity of the Rossetti family has received growing critical attention,4 Dante Gabriel’s and William Michael’s different responses to their father’s political stances call for closer investigation. Their fi lial and intellectual bond with an erudite patriot who associated Dante’s destiny of exul immeritus with his own is fundamental for comprehending the status and the legacy of the Rossettis in Italian and English culture.