• Christina Rossetti was the youngest of four children • Mother- Gabriele Rossetti, an Italian patriot who came to London in 1824. • She had one sister, Maria, and two brothers, Dante Gabriel and William. • Brought up as devout Anglo-Catholics. Christina's elder sister Maria eventually became an Anglican nun.
• In 1848 she became engaged to James Collinson, a member of her brother's Pre-Raphaelite circle. (broke it off when he became a Roman Catholic. • Next she fell in love with Charles Cayley ( she broke it off because of religious differences. • Her brother William said: "She enquired into his creed and found he was not a Christian." Rossetti's definition of Christianity was narrower and more evangelical than most people's.
• Like many unmarried middle-class women of that period, Rossetti did not have any paid employment, except for about a year when she and her mother tried to run a day school after failing health and eyesight forced her father to retire in 1853.
• Christina Rossetti's family was very important to her. Although she loved two different men, and it is clear from her poetry that she could express feelings of love and the heartbreak of losing love, she never married or broke away from home. Her brothers and sister were central to her emotions and she was deeply upset by Dante Gabriel's nervous breakdown in 1872. • He died in 1882; she lived as a recluse at home, concentrating on her religious life. • After a period of ill health Christina Rossetti died of cancer on 29 December 1894.
• Poetry inspired by her religion.
• Many poems, such as When I am Dead, My Dearest, Remember and Up-Hill, are concerned with the nearness of death and the renunciation of earthly love. • Her love of God is passionately expressed in Long Barren, and her poem In the Bleak Mid- Winter is well known as a Christmas carol. • Also a poet who...