Women in the Literary Market 1800-1900


Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894
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In Rossetti's lifetime, opinion was divided over whether she or Elizabeth Barrett Browning was the greatest female poet of the era. In any case, after Browning's death in 1861, readers and critics saw Rossetti as her rightful successor.

Goblin Market was Rossetti's first commercially published volume of poetry. The title poem–a moral allegory of temptation, indulgence, sacrifice, and redemption, with pronounced sexual under-tones–remains her most discussed work to this day.

Critics continue to study Rossetti's response to and influence on a women writers' tradition. During the last quarter of the twentieth century, feminist critics were especially concerned with Rossetti’s critique of patriarchal amatory values and gender relations. Christina Rossetti has been called the greatest Victorian woman poet, but her poetry is increas-ingly being recognized as among the most beautiful and innovative of the period by either sex.

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Goblin Market and Other Poems. With two designs by D.G. Rossetti. Cambridge, London: Macmillan and Co., 1862.
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early role models
entering the literary market
learned poets
getting into print
charlotte bronte and george eliot
sin and sensation
new women
L.T. Meade
the three volume format
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