Christina Georgina Rossetti

Christina Georgina Rossetti

[roh-set-ee, -zet-ee, ruh-]
Rossetti, Christina Georgina, 1830-94, English poet; sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Publication of some of her poems in her brother William's magazine the Germ was her only contribution to Pre-Raphaelite activities. She was a devout Anglican and lived the last 15 years of her life as a recluse in her home. Many of her poems are religious, some melancholy and death-obsessed, e.g., "Uphill" and "When I Am Dead, My Dearest." Possessing a spontaneous lyrical gift, she had a firm command of traditional poetic forms. Much of her work shows a marked moral intelligence and independence of spirit, and she is recognized as an important Victorian-era poet. Her simple songs, especially in Sing-Song (1872), were favorites with children. Her volumes of poetry include Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862), probably her best work; The Prince's Progress (1866); and A Pageant and Other Poems (1881).

See Christina Rossetti: A Writer's Life (1995); studies by E. K. Charles (1985), D. Rosenblum (1986), A. H. Harrison (1988), and D. A. Kent, ed. (1988).

Christina Rossetti, chalk drawing by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1866; in a private collection

(born Dec. 5, 1830, London, Eng.—died Dec. 29, 1894, London) English poet. The youngest child of Gabriele Rossetti and the sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, she found her highest inspiration in her deep religious faith. The collections Goblin Market (1862) and The Prince's Progress (1866) contain most of her finest work. Her best poetry is strong, personal, and unforced; her success arises from her ability to unite the devotional and the passionate sides of her nature. Her Sing-Song (1872; enlarged 1893), a collection of nursery rhymes, is among the most outstanding children's books of the 19th century. After the onset of a thyroid disorder in 1871, she wrote mainly devotional verse.

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