See Christina Rossetti: A Writer's Life 1995 ; studies by E. Later twentieth-century biographers, however, have tended to make more intimate moves and have sought to decode the writings in terms of a personal romantic disappointment. An interesting study of her poetry is Thomas B. Her deep sense of her own un-worthiness, her humility of soul, was not 'sweet egotism' but the mark of the saint--stern with self, tender with others. The scene of the Nativity, as she pictures it in her loveliest carol, is not that of a Tuscan ' Adoration' with flower-sprinkled meadows and cypress-crowned hills forming a setting for the crib, but the countryside of a traditional English Christmas. Her first published poems were the seven she contributed in 1850 to the Pre-Raphaelite magazine, the Germ, under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyne. Little can be learned about her reactions to such episodes as the death of Gabriel's wife after an overdose of laudanum in 1862, nor to his mental collapse and suicide attempts in 1873.
More sunny than sunshine that ever yet shone, Sweetener of the bitter, smoother of the rough, Highest lesson of all lessons for all to con, 'Beloved, let us love. A brief of memoir of Christina G. And so Lona Mosk Packer's 1963 biography puts forward the theory that the poetry was conceived around the poet's passionate, unrequited love for the painter William Bell Scott, a family friend. William was a noted editor and art and literary critic. Lord God of Mary, Whom His Lips caress While He rocks to rest On her milky breast In helplessness.
January Cold Desolate Source: The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti 1904 , Page 432 January cold desolate; February all dripping wet; March wind ranges; April changes; Birds sing in tune To flowers of May, And sunny June Brings longest day; In scorched July The storm-clouds fly Lightning torn; August bears corn, September fruit; In rough October Earth must disrobe her; Stars fall and shoot In keen November; And night is long And cold is strong In bleak December. Littledale, whose keen sense of humour and cheerful outlook on life must have exercised a wholesome influence on Christina, prone at times as she was, owing to a low physical vitality, to take a somewhat morbid outlook on life. Scaling heavenly heights by unearthly ways, Thee our God we praise all our nights and days, Thee our God we praise. Thereafter she led a very retiring life, interrupted by a recurring illness which was sometimes diagnosed as angina and sometimes tuberculosis. Her writing after 1866 was chiefly devotional: daily collects, scriptural commentaries, improving tales for children, and memorial poems. In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan; Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone. Although she visited her brother Gabriel's bohemian ménage in Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, and spent some weeks at Kelmscott Manor, the Oxfordshire house he shared with William Morris, she left almost no description of these places.
In the memoirs that have been written of her, one cannot but feel that the real-life Christina eludes us, and certainly she would rather that this should be so; literary celebrity is the last thing she would have wished for, shrinking as she did from the world's eye and the world's praise. He had been one of those who, following the example of Newman in those troubled years of the later 'forties, had joined the Roman Communion, which, however, he left again for the sake of Christina, who had first of all refused him from a sense of loyalty to her own branch of the Church. We can well realize what Christina's devotion must have meant to Mrs. Passing away, saith my God, passing away: Winter passeth after the long delay: New grapes on the vine, new figs on the tender spray, Turtle calleth turtle in Heaven's May. Watch with me, Jesus, in my loneliness: Though others say me nay, yet say Thou yes; Though others pass me by, stop Thou to bless.
She died of cancer December 29, 1894. Further Reading A wealth of biographical detail is in Letters of Christina Georgina Rossetti, edited by her brother William M. She was buried at Highgate Cemetery on January 5, 1895, in the grave of her father and mother. Although, to judge by her portraits, she appears to have been a sturdy child, her health from the days of her girlhood constantly gave cause for anxiety. After a sustained burst of creativity in the late 1850s, she mainly wrote occasional works, often donating poems to Christian charities such as the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and the Anti-Vivisectionist League of which she was a passionate supporter. This absence of any explanatory material intrigues modern biographers, who have gone to a good deal of trouble to invent psychosexual reasons for the breakdowns. It is sometimes said that Christina Rossetti dwells overmuch on the physical aspect of death.
In 1847 her grandfather, Gaetano Polidori, printed on his private press a volume of her Verses, in which signs of poetic talent are already visible. In one of her few pronouncements on literature she hinted, in a letter to Caroline Gemmer 27 February 1883 , that, in general, the world had too many men and women of artistic promise: 'Oh, my dear friend, don't let us wish for any more geniuses! Acceptance of death is common in Pre-Raphaelite philosophy. Benson,' one would be inclined to predicate certain failure, the simplicity is too crude and daring; but consider the result. Christina Rossetti, a divided life, : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1981. In the following beautiful sonnet No. Christina was considered a possible successor to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as , but she developed a fatal cancer in 1891. The engagement was broken in 1850 when he reverted to Catholicism.
She offered her Innocent Child The Essence and Author of Love; The Lamb that indwelt by the Dove Was spotless and holy and mild; More pure than all other, More pure than His Mother, Her God and Redeemer and Child. The Pre-Raphaelites In her late teens Christina Rossetti became involved in a group of her brothers' painting friends—among them Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt, and John Everett Millais—and she was, emotionally at least, involved in the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, whose dissolution in 1852 she marked with some sprightly comic verses. For instance, Arthur Quiller-Couch's Oxford Book of Victorian Verse 1912 contains twelve pages of her poetry; Christopher Ricks's New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse 1987 allots her twenty-three; and in the Penguin Book of Victorian Verse 1997 fifty-five pages are devoted to her work. Yes, to the very end. A caricature by Gabriel of Christina shows her destroying a room in a fit of anger.
But the prospect of his earning sufficient to marry on seemed remote, and, when in 1850 he again decided to become a Roman Catholic, Christina broke off the unofficial engagement. John, with chains for thy wages, Strong thy rock where the storm-blast rages, Rock of refuge, the Rock of Ages. Bouts of depression and related illness followed. The first carol was published in The Century-Guild Hobby-horse in 1887, and so I give a general date, ' circa 1887. She did, however, make two trips to Europe with William and their mother in the 1860s.