Christina Rossetti

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CR wrote and published poetry ranging from religious poetry, love lyrics, and sonnets to narrative and dramatic verse. She published five successive volumes of verse, three collected editions, and many individual poems in anthologies and periodicals, from the 1840s until her death in the 1890s. She occupies a liminal position in relation to the Pre-Raphaelite movement: deeply influenced by and indebted to it, she developed a voice and preoccupations in many respects distinct from those of its male members, partly because of her equally strong absorption in the High AnglicanOxford Movement. Goblin Market, the poem for which she is best known, has frequently been re-issued as a children's fable, but has also been convincingly read as a complex exploration of religion, gender, and sexuality. Some of her other verse was specifically aimed at children. Her attempts at prose fiction, of which a volume appeared in her lifetime and another posthumously, were not as well received as her poetry. CR 's devotional writing, which intensified towards the end of her life, includes hymns and other religious verse, as well as six volumes of religious commentary presented from a distinctively female standpoint. A writer who combined abiding interest in symbol and correspondence with stylistic austerity and metrical innovation that presaged modernism, CR is recognised as one of the major poets of the Victorian period.
Chalk drawing of Christina Rossetti by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1866. She is seated at a small desk with a book open in front of her, wearing a simple grey dress or wrapper with long sleeves; her long brown hair is pulled smoothly back; her expression is serene.
"Christina Rossetti" Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christina_Rossetti_2.jpg. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.

Milestones

5 December 1830
CR was born in a small terrace house at 38 Charlotte Street, near Portland Place, London; she was the fourth and youngest child of the family.
Jones, Kathleen. Learning Not to Be First: The Life of Christina Rossetti. Windrush Press, 1991.
3
Battiscombe, Georgina. Christina Rossetti: A Divided Life. Constable, 1981.
16
Smulders, Sharon. Christina Rossetti Revisited. Twayne, 1996.
xi
27 April 1842
Having begun composing poetry at six, CR was eleven when she wrote her earliest preserved poem, for her mother 's birthday.
Marsh, Jan. Christina Rossetti: A Writer’s Life. Viking, 1995.
33
27 April 1859
CR completed her most celebrated poem, Goblin Market; in manuscript it was dedicated to her sister , referring to her by her initials.
Rossetti, Christina. The Complete Poems of Christina Rossetti. Crump, Rebecca W.Editor , Louisiana State University Press, 1990.
1: 234
Early April 1862
CR published the collection Goblin Market and Other Poems with illustrations by Dante Gabriel Rossetti .
Smulders, Sharon. Christina Rossetti Revisited. Twayne, 1996.
xii
Athenæum. J. Lection.
1800 (1862): 558
Marsh, Jan. Christina Rossetti: A Writer’s Life. Viking, 1995.
281
January 1872
CR published in Scribner's MonthlyA Christmas Carol, better known by its first line In the Bleak Midwinter, which has become her most widely encountered work, since it is still sung by thousands in the Christmas season.
Rossetti, Christina. The Complete Poems of Christina Rossetti. Crump, Rebecca W.Editor , Louisiana State University Press, 1990.
1: 308
29 December 1894
CR died, exhausted from the pain of advanced cancer and from the terror of opiate-induced hallucinations.
Jones, Kathleen. Learning Not to Be First: The Life of Christina Rossetti. Windrush Press, 1991.
223-4
Smulders, Sharon. Christina Rossetti Revisited. Twayne, 1996.
xiii

Biography

She signed herself in the full form of Christina G. Rossetti throughout her life in correspondence to family members and friends as well as strangers. In signed publications she was credited thus or simply as Christina Rossetti. Sister Christina was her name, though she had not taken vows, in her voluntary job at the St Mary Magdalene Penitentiary .
Marsh, Jan. Christina Rossetti: A Writer’s Life. Viking, 1995.
137

Birth and Family