This study builds upon the radical reinterpretations of Christina Rossetti that have emerged in the last two decades. Using contemporary critical and feminist theory Kathryn Burlinson shows how Rossetti was a persistent critic of her culture and how she struggled throughout her life and writings with the gender ideologies of Victorian England. The imaginative range and depth of Rossetti’s work, her fantasy, her fun, mystery and melancholy as well as her startling explorations of feminine identity are emphasised through rhymes, devotional writings, letters and short stories. Rossetti’s familial and literary relations are also explored, showing how the Rossetti household was both inspirational and conditioning, supportive and restrictive for its youngest daughter, who nevertheless forged her own way and found her own voices: sensuous, anguished and always yearning for a better place to be.
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