Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Topics: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Pages: 2 (591 words) Published: December 13, 2010
Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti, who assumed the professional name Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was born 12 May 1828 at No. 38 Charlotte Street, Portland Place, London, the second child and eldest son of Gabriele Rossetti (1783-1854) and Frances Polidori Rossetti (1800-1886). Gabriele Rossetti was a Dante scholar, who when younger had been exiled from Naples for writing poetry in support of the Neapolitan Constitution of 1819. He settled in London in 1824, where in 1826 he married the daughter of a fellow Italian expatriate and man of letters; Frances Polidori had trained as a governess, and she supervised her children's early education. Gabriele Rossetti supported the family as a professor of Italian at King's College, London, until his eyesight and general health deteriorated in the 1840s. Frances then attempted to support the family as a teacher of French and Italian, and as an unsuccessful founder of two day schools. Few Victorian families were as gifted: Maria Rossetti (1827-1876) was described as talented, enthusiastic, and domineering as a child; in later life she published A Shadow of Dante (1871) and became an Anglican nun (1873); William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919) was along with his brother an active member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and became an editor, man of letters, and memoirist; the youngest child, Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830- 1894), became an introspective lyrical poet. Dante Gabriel Rossetti was bilingual from early childhood and grew up in an atmosphere of emigre political and literary discussion. From childhood he intended to be a painter and illustrated literary subjects in his earliest drawings. He was tutored at home in German and read the Bible, William Shakespeare, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, The Arabian Nights, Charles Dickens, and the poetry of Sir Walter Scott and George Gordon, Lord Byron. At the age of eight he entered Mr. Paul's day school in Portland Place and a year later began studies at King's College...
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