Christina Rossetti

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Christina Rossetti (December 5, 1830 to December 29, 1894) (, Encyclopædia Britannica). Christina Rossetti was a Victorian-era poet best known for her remarkable contributions to 19th century children's literature in books such as Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book(Encyclopædia Britannica). Some of Rossetti's most famous works include;

  • Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862)
  • Prince's Progress and Other Poems (1866)
  • Verses (1893)
  • Commonplace and Other Short Stories (1870)
  • Seek and Find (1879)
  • The Germ (which she contributed to under the name of Ellen Alleyne) (1850)

Rossetti always wrote very dark poetry dealing with death, misery, etc, but earlier in her career she constructed relatively light, happy pieces such as nursery rhymes. Rossetti progressed to very thoughtful, sombre, and usually quite religious poetry almost exclusively in her later years. This is a marvelous example of a typical Rossetti verse:

"From midnight to the cockcrow
I kept my watch in pain
While the subtle ghosts grew subtler
In the sad night on the wane.

From midnight to the cockcrow
I watched till all were gone,
Some to sleep in the shifting sea
And some under turf and stone:
Living had failed and dead had failed,
And I was indeed alone."

(A Chilly Night)

By 1871 she fell victim to Graves' disease, wreaking havoc upon much of her everyday life, and obviously her health (, Encyclopædia Britannica). She was at one point considered to possibly follow Alfred Tennyson as poet laureate, but consideration, in the end was all it amounted to. She was never poet laureate. Rossetti died of cancer in 1894. (Encyclopædia Britannica,

Rossetti is still remembered through her work to this very day through many of her classic nursery rhymes. This Rossetti nursery rhyme is very widely known and is from her Sing Song book;

"Ferry me across the water,
Do, boatman, do."
"If you've a penny in your purse
I'll ferry you."

"I have a penny in my purse,
And my eyes are blue;
So ferry me across the water,
Do, boatman, do."

"Step into my ferry-boat,
Be they black or blue,
And for the penny in your purse
I'll ferry you."

(Ferry Me Across The Water)

Tertiary sources
Liukkonen, Petri. "Christina Rossetti." 2008. Web. 03 Feb. 2011. <>.

"Christina Rossetti." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Wed. 03 Feb. 2011. <>.

Everett, Glenn. "The Life of Christina Rossetti." The Victorian Web: An Overview. University Of Tennessee At Martin, 1988. Web. 03 Feb. 2011. <>.

Everett, Glen. "Christina Rossetti — Poet Seers." Poet Seers - Poem of the Day — Poet Seers. University Of Tennessee At Martin. Web. 04 Feb. 2011. <>.

Primary sources
Rossetti, Christina G. "A Chilly Night." The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti. Whitefish: Kessinger, 2004. 321-22. Print.

Rossetti, Christina G. "Ferry Me Across the Water." Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book. Whitefish: Kessinger, 2004. 31. Print.

  • Ferry Me Across the Water
  • Alfred Tennyson
  • A Chilly Night
  • Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book

Modern Connections

Article: Christina Rossetti's Feminist Theology

This summary is very well written, however i felt that there could have been more facts about Rossetti, such as awards or personal life to make the article a bit more interesting. I really liked how many examples of her work you gave, it gave me a clear idea of her writing style and the types of work she produced.
Nick and Brennan