The Culture of Christina Rossetti explores a "new" Christina Rossetti as she emerges from the scrutiny of the particular historical and cultural context in which she lived and wrote.
The essays in this collection demonstrate how the recluse, saint, and renunciatory spinster of former studies was in fact an active participant in her society's attempt to grapple with new developments in aesthetics, theology, science, economics, and politics. The volume examines Rossetti's poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from a variety of theoretical and critical perspectives in order to reevaluate her place in the Victorian world of art, literature, and ideas.
The essays offer a radical rethinking of her best-known poems, retrieve neglected works, establish the diversity of her writing, and reposition Rossetti within a canon continually under formation. Contributing to the ongoing retrieval of the nineteenth-century woman poet, The Culture of Christina Rossetti highlights Rossetti's responses to both male and female literary traditions and explores her incorporation and revision of literary influences from medieval Italian sources to contemporary writers.