The Culture of Christina Rossetti explores a “new” Christina Rossetti as she emerges from the scrutiny of the particular historical and cultural context in which she lived and wrote. The essays in this collection demonstrate how the recluse, saint, and renunciatory spinster of former studies was in fact an active participant in her society's attempt to grapple with new developments in aesthetics, theology, science, economics, and politics.
The volume examines Rossetti’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from a variety of theoretical and critical perspectives in order to reevaluate her place in the Victorian world of art, literature, and ideas. The essays offer a radical rethinking of her best-known poems, retrieve neglected works, establish the diversity of her writing, and reposition Rossetti within a canon continually under formation.
Contributing to the ongoing retrieval of the nineteenth-century woman poet, The Culture of Christina Rossetti highlights Rossetti’s responses to both male and female literary traditions and explores her incorporation and revision of literary influences from medieval Italian sources to contemporary writers.
Mary Arseneau is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Ottawa. More info →
Antony H. Harrison is Professor of English at North Carolina State University. More info →
Lorraine Janzen Kooistra is the author of The Artist as Critic: Bitextuality in Fin-de-Siècle Illustrated Books and Christina Rossetti and Illustration: A Publishing History. She is co-editor of The Culture of Christina Rossetti: Female Poetics and Victorian Contexts and The Yellow Nineties Online. She teaches at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. More info →
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The subject of renewed interest among literary and cultural scholars, Vernon Lee wrote more than forty books, in a broad range of genres, including fiction, history, aesthetics, and travel literature. Early on, Lee established her reputation as a public critic whose unconventional viewpoints stood out among those of her contemporaries.
Readers do not always take into account how books that combine image and text make their meanings. But for the Pre-Raphaelite poet Christina Rossetti, such considerations were central. Christina Rossetti and Illustration maps the production and reception of Rossetti's illustrated poetry, devotional prose, and work for children, both in the author's lifetime and in posthumous twentieth-century reprints.
Developing a perspective on Victorian culture as the breeding ground for early theories of the unconscious and the divided psyche, The Demon and the Damozel: Dynamics of Desire in the Works of Christina Rossetti and Dante Gabriel Rossetti offers a new reading of these eminent Victorian siblings’ literature and visual arts.