“Come Buy, Come Buy!”: Christina Rossetti and the Victorian Animal Market

  • Jed MayerEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)


This chapter examines connections between the objectification and exchange of women and animals in the later nineteenth century, considering the relationship between Christina Rossetti’s work with the Highgate Home for Fallen Women and her later opposition to vivisection. Her most famous poem, “Goblin Market,” reveals her fascination for exotic creatures, but also suggests that she was sensitive to the ways such animals could be regarded as mere objects. With her increasing concern over the plight of women and animals in the nineteenth century, Rossetti became increasingly wary of the ways in which male spectators exploited both groups. Rossetti’s concerns are representative of the many fruitful ways in which campaigns for social justice for humans and animals were mutually reinforcing, building on shared experiences of marginalization and exploitation.


Rossetti, Christina “Goblin Market” Sexual exploitation Exotic animal trade Highgate Home for Fallen Women Gender relations 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SUNY New PaltzNew PaltzUSA

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