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Christina Rossetti. Her Life and Poetry. Background. Born Dec. 5, 1830 In 1848 became engaged to James Collinson, but broke off engagement after he reverted to Roman Catholicism Christina and her mother attempted to support the family by starting a day school, but the attempt failed

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christina rossetti

Christina Rossetti

Her Life and Poetry

background
Background
  • Born Dec. 5, 1830
  • In 1848 became engaged to James Collinson, but broke off engagement after he reverted to Roman Catholicism
  • Christina and her mother attempted to support the family by starting a day school, but the attempt failed
  • She was in love with Charles Cayaley, but refused to marry him because he was not a Christian
  • At first drawn to the evangelical branch of the Church of England, but later drawn toward the Tractarians in the 1840’s
  • After rejecting Cayley, she lived vicariously in the lives of other people
  • After 1875 involved with the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
  • Last twelve years of her life were quiet ones
  • Died of cancer Dec. 29, 1894.
christina rossetti s poetry
Christina Rossetti’s Poetry
  • Never completely a part of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
  • Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862)
  • The Prince's Progress and Other Poems (1866)
  • Themes of frustrated love and tension between desire and renunciation characterize her poetry
  • Gothic strain in her poetry
  • Poetry is characterized by hiddenness and reserve
  • Art is a refuge
  • Art mediates between this world and the transcendent world
  • Poetry mediates between religious values and aesthetic values of Pre-Raphaelite movement
  • An aesthetics of renunciation
goblin market
Goblin Market
  • An allegory of temptation and redemption
  • The little men represent worldly affections
  • The two sisters could be the two sides of Christina’s own character
  • Redemption of a guilty person by an innocent one
  • Analysis of gender roles