Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) biography:
Rossetti is one of the most significant voices in Victorian poetry.
She is best known for her poetry collection, Goblin Market and Other
Poems, though her other works—The Price’s Progress and other Poems
(1866), Singsong: a Nursery Rhyme Book (1872), Seek and Find (1879),
and Called to be Saints (1881) merited enough acclaim for her to be
considered as Tennyson’s successor as Poet Laureate.
Christina Rossetti was the daughter of Italian poet and scholar
Gabriele Rossetti (1783-1854), though she was born and raised in
London. Her parents’ love for art, and the intellectual circles they
moved in, left a strong creative influence on the Rossetti children.
She and her three siblings were all writers, and her brother Dante
Gabriel was also a painter. She modeled for his picture, The Girlhood
of Mary Virgin (1849), as well as for the paintings and drawings for
her family’s Pre-Raphaelite friends. Her family also helped introduce
her talent to the literary world: her first poems were published by
grandfather’s printing press, and her brother’s pre-Raphaelite
journal, The Germ, featured seven of her earliest works.
Rossetti’s poetry is known for its rich religious undertones,
reflecting her own spirituality and devotion to the church, and the
influences of philosophers like Augustine and Thomas à Kempis and the
metaphysical poet John Donne.
Between penning poems, Rossetti worked as a governess. In the 1880’s
she developed a thyroid disease that left her an invalid. She
continued to write, leading to the collections A Pageant and Other
Poems (1881) and The Face of the Deep (1892) before she passed away
from cancer on December 29, 1894.