ENTRY: Rosetti, Christina
Christina Georgina Rossetti (b. December 5, 1830 – d. December 29, 1894)
was an English poet.
Rossetti was born in London and educated at home by her mother. In the 1840's her family was stricken
with severe financial difficulties due to the deterioration of her father's physical and mental
health, and when she was fourteen, Rossetti herself suffered a nervous breakdown, which in succeeding
years was followed by periodic bouts of depression and related illness. It was during this
period of Rossetti's life that she, along with her mother and sister, became seriously
invested in the Anglo-Catholic movement that was part of the Church of England,
and this religious devotion played a major role in Rossetti's personal life for the rest of her
Although Rossetti began writing at an early age, her poetry did not gain notice until the
publication of Goblin Market and Other Poems in 1862. Although upon first glance it
may seem merely to be a fairy tale about two sisters' misadventures with goblins, the poem is
multi-layered, challenging, and complex, and critics have interpreted the piece in a
variety of ways. Goblin Market was later illustrated by fantasy artist Arthur Rackham.
She died in 1894 and was buried in Highgate Cemetery. In the early 20th century Rossetti's
popularity faded, as many respected Victorian writers' reputations suffered from
Modernism's virulent backlash against Romanticism and everything associated with it.
Rossetti remained largely unnoticed and unread until the 1970s when scholars began to
recover and write on her work. In the last few decades, Rossetti's writing has been
rediscovered, and Goblin Market has regained admittance into the Victorian literary canon.
Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862)
The Prince's Progress and Other Poems (1856)
Sing-Song: a Nursery Rhyme Book (1872, 1893)
A Pageant and Other Poems (1881)
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