The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing

Living Edition
| Editors: Lesa Scholl (Editor-in-Chief)

Rossetti, Christina

Living reference work entry


One of the major Victorian poets, Christina Rossetti, was also a gifted theologian, authoring substantial devotional works. Portrayed by the end of the nineteenth century as a sweet but melancholy recluse, she has in recent decades been reevaluated for her subtle artistry, social and gender criticism, theological complexity, and – as stressed here – environmentalism.


Born to an Italian émigré revolutionary and a mother whose own father had immigrated from Italy, Christina Georgina Rossetti (5 Dec. 1830–29 Dec. 1894) grew up in a London home full of international visitors and wide culture. Like her mother, Frances Mary Lavinia, and older sister, Maria Francesca Rossetti, she was a devout member of the Church of England. Her brother, Dante Gabriel, would by 1848 become the leading figure of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, an artistic movement to which Christina and her other brother, William Michael, were early contributors. William Michael was a critic of art and...


Anglo-Catholicism Animal rights and animal studies Botany Called to Be Saints Consumerism Community Creation Devotional poetry Ecocriticism Ecology Economy Environment Ecotheology Gender Fallen women Face of the Deep Goblin Market and Other Poems Letter and Spirit Markets and marketing Oxford Movement A Pageant and Other Poems Poetry and poetics Prostitution Psalms Religion Theology Time Flies Trinity Verses Worship 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More College, University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada