The period from 1875-77 covers the greater part of what Rossetti's brother William later characterized as "the chloralized years" when the amounts he took, usually accompanied by alcohol, eventually led to another breakdown and even alienated his old friend Ford Madox Brown for a time. In his mounting troubles with creditors, patrons, and various legal matters he depended more and more on Theodore Watts-Dunton.
The sojourn at Aldwick Lodge, Bognor, from the fall of 1875 to July 1876, was marked by Rossetti's ever-deepening depression. The artist, who had perhaps hoped for another idyllic period with Janey Morris and her daughters in residence modelling for his paintings, must have been bitterly disappointed. Fearing imminent death, he directed George Hake to make new provisions in his will, emphasizing the importance of burning all Janey's letters to him.
Despite his physical condition, he nevertheless completed or began such major works as La Bella Mano, Astarte Syriaca, The Sea-Spell, The Blessed Damozel, and Mnemosyne amongst others, as well as a number of portraits. He also worked with Frederic Shields on his engraving project, and acquired a new patron in William A. Turner.