Christina Georgina Rossetti (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894) was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She is perhaps best known for her long poem Goblin Market, her love poem Remember, and for the words of the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter.
"Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
'Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,'"
"Goblin Market is usually read as an allegory for the poet's self-division that shows, in Lionel Stevenson's representative summary, the conflict between 'the two sides of Christina's own character, the sensuous and the ascetic,' and demonstrates 'the evil of self-indulgence, the fraudulence of sensuous beauty, and the supreme duty of renunciation.'"
"Without pretensions of being a great poet, Christina Rossetti is a gifted minor one with a remarkable easy of spontaneous melody and occasional moments of compresses energy suggestive of powers never fully developed."
Among her later works are <i>A Pageant and Other Poems</i> (1881), and <i>The Face of the Deep</i> (1892). Rossetti also wrote religious prose works, such as <i>Seek and Find</i> (1879), <i>Called To Be Saints</i> (1881) and <i>The Face of the Deep</i> (1892). In 1891, Rossetti developed cancer, of which she died in London on December 29, 1894. Rossetti's brother, William Michael, edited her collected works in 1904, but the <i>Complete Poems</i> were not published before 1979.
At age 42 Christina was diagnosed with Graves' disease (hyperthyroidism). Still, Christina continued her writing, producing poetry, commentaries on the Bible, a series of nursery rhymes, and short stories.
As a young woman, Rossetti declined two marriage proposals because her suitors' failed to conform to the tenets of the Anglican Church. Rather than marry, she chose to remain with her mother, an equally devout Anglican. Rossetti's poetic production diminished as she grew older and increasingly committed to writing religious prose.
<i>The Prince's Progress and Other Poems</i>, appeared in 1866 followed by <i>Sing-Song</i>, a collection of verse for children, in 1872 (with illustrations by Arthur Hughes).
In 1848 her brother Dante and his friends formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of English painters and poets who wanted to bring back the "vitality and freshness of the Italian primitives." Intellectually and artistically interested in the Brotherhood, Christina, on occasion, acted as a secretary as well as a model for Dante.
Rossetti began writing when she was seven, but was thirty-one before she saw her first publication. She suffered a dramatic breakdown aged fourteen and left school, further illness triggered bouts of depression. A devout Christian, Rossetti became interested in the Anglo-Catholic movement in the 1840s.
Christina Georgina Rossetti was born in 1830 in London, England. She was the sister of the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and formed the subject of many of his paintings. Her father, Gabriele Rossetti was an Italian poet and political refugee from Naples. Her mother was Frances Polidori, sister of John William Polidori, Lord Byron’s friend and physician.