Rossetti is a name that is synonymous with art but often overlooked with poetry. This weekend sees the birthday of English Poet, Christine Georgina Rossetti, born in London, 5th December 1830, and sister to the famous Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood founding member, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Apart from her famous brother, Christina's father, Gabriel, was a known Italian Poet, and her mother, Frances Polidori, was the sister to John William Polidori, author of The Vampyre, and friend and physician to Lord Byron. As a side note John Polidori was one of the famous five that was to stay at the Villa Diodati, along with Byron, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, her husband to be, Percy Bysshe Shelley, & her stepsister, Claire Clairmont, and spend the night writing ghost stoires, which was to inspire not only his novel but also that of Frankenstein.
Christina was a prolific writer who began at the age of 7, having her first poem published when she was 18. For a while she contributed regularly to the Pre- Raphaelite magazine The Germ, which was also edited by her brother William. Goblin Market and Other Poems, published in 1862 is probably her most famous piece of work, which earned plaudits acclaiming her as the natural successor to Elizabeth Barrett Browning as female laureate.
After the publication of Goblin Market, Christina was to publish the following further Collections; The Prince's Progress and Other Poems (1866) , Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book (1872), A Pageant and Other Poems (1891), and Verses (1893).
Having died from the re-occurrence of breast cancer on 29th December 1894, and subsequently buried in Highgate Cemetary, her Christmas poem In The Bleak Midwinter was to be set to music by, first, Gustav Holst, and then Richard Drake, and became a much loved Christmas Carol.
Christiana had an illustrious life. She was, for a short while, engaged to the painter James Collinson and would sit regularly for her brother's paintings, the most famous being Dante's The Girlhood of Virgin Mary, where she modelled Mary. This painting was the first to be inscribed with the initial PRB.
Today One Stop is proud to celebrate the poetry of Christina Rossetti, bringing you two poems, In the Bleak Midwinter & The Goblin Market, which truly show the diversity of her work;