Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti

Excerpt

It is a happy chance that Christina Rossetti should be admitted to the English Men of Letters Series in the centenary year of her birth. During the thirty-six years that have passed since her death her fame has been quietly and steadily growing, and few will now be found to question her claim to a niche in that illustrious company.

In all the most important books dealing with the Pre-Raphaelites there may be discerned the figure of "this Jael", as Swinburne called her, "who led their host to victory". But the longest and most comprehensive biography of Christina Rossetti that has yet (1930) appeared, Mr. Mackenzie Bell Life, was written too soon after her death for her portrait to be set in its right perspective. Many points of extreme interest had to be either slurred over or omitted altogether, and no critical estimate was possible at so close a range. Miss Proctor's little study is a mere outline in miniature, and neither Madame Félix-Faure Goyau in Vers la Joie nor Mrs. Elizabeth Luther Cary in The Rossettis concentrates undivided attention upon Christina. For information concerning her childhood and youth, her middle life, her last years and her last days, we must go to her brother, William Michael Rossetti, by whom we shall certainly not be sent empty away.

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