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Rossetti and the Tractarians.

Christina Rossetti's life and art are closely connected to all aspects of the Oxford Movement. Beginning in 1843, she attended Christ Church, Albany Street, the church often described as the leading London church of the Oxford Movement. She supported Anglican religious sisterhoods; in fact, the first sisterhood was planned in her parish and established in nearby Park Village West in 1845. Later, both she and her sister, Maria, supported the work of The Society of All Saints, another of these Anglican sisterhoods. Maria became a fully professed sister of that order in 1876. In her own daily life, Rossetti engaged in regular devotional practices encouraged by members of the Oxford Movement, practicing confession and regularly receiving Holy Communion. She also was engaged in various forms of activism, including her work for fallen women and minors, her opposition to pew rentals, and her support of the anti-vivisectionist cause. Her reading indicates her admiration for the movement's leading figures. She carefully illustrated her own copies of Keble's Christian Year and Isaac Williams' The Altar. She owned a copy of John Henry Newman's Dream of Gerontius, and shortly after his death in 1890, she wrote a sonnet to honor him. In the last years of her life, the poetry and life of Isaac Williams seems to have been of special interest to her. In 1892 while recovering from cancer surgery, she enjoyed having her brother read to her from the Autobiography of Isaac Williams. Clearly, Rossetti was drawn to the Tractarians as both religious thinkers and poets.

In articles published shortly after her death, much is made of Rossetti's religious poetry. In his essay An Appreciation of the Late Christina Georgina Rossetti, Rev. B. F. Westcott, Lord Bishop of Durham, goes so far as to write, "she is pre-eminently the spiritual poet of our age." However, very few if any connections are made between Rossetti and the Tractarians, perhaps with the exception of William Robertson Nicoll's description of Rossetti as "the great poetess of Catholic Christianity," in other words, Anglo-Catholicism. Twenty years later in the introduction to the 1925 edition of Rossetti's Verses, W.K.L.C. appears to be the first to link directly Rossetti's High Church views with the Tractarians: "Her religious views were Tractarian, that is to say, Anglo-Catholic without any leaning toward Roman Catholicism and strongly Puritan." (1) Early commentary on Rossetti may have overlooked signs of Tractarian influence because such signs would have associated her with Roman Catholicism. Certainly those critics who wanted to claim her as a religious poet but who resisted what they perceived as Romanist influences would not have wished to note characteristics of the Oxford Movement in her work. For example, Mrs. Aubrey Richardson's assurance to her readers in Women of the Church of England (1907) that while Rossetti referred to Jesus as the "Heavenly Bridegroom," she was guiltless of "degrading the Divine to the low limits of an amourous personality," suggests that Richardson wanted to distance Rossetti from Roman Catholicism, a religion Richardson refers to as marked by "Vatican tyranny" and "gross superstitions." (2)

Two major studies in the 1930s of Rossetti's life and work (Dorothy Margaret Stuart's Christina Rossetti and Eleanor Thomas' Christina Georgina Rossetti) mention the significance of the Oxford Movement, but neither offers any close consideration of its influence. The title of Irene A. M. Shipton's 1933 article, "Christina Rossetti: The Poetess of the Oxford Movement," promises more; however, after asserting that the Oxford Movement was Rossetti's "spiritual home," Shipton then offers what is primarily a sketch of the poet's "saintly" life with some attention given to her religious poetry in rather general terms. (3) Considering this absence of analysis of Rossetti's relationship with the Tractarians, the work of Desmond Morse-Boycott, published in 1932, stands out as something of an exception. In Lead, Kindly Light: Studies of the Saints and Heroes of the Oxford Movement, he includes a chapter on Rossetti. Although his commentary on Rossetti is similar to that of Shipton's in that he offers a summary of Rossetti's saintly life, in doing so he singles out her relationship with Rev. Richard Littledale, whom he describes as having "nurtured the outward and visible signs of the Oxford Movement." (4) Attention to Littledale's influence on Rossetti begins to move critical consideration beyond general assertions about Tractarian influence to a more detailed assessment. One can, therefore, cite this volume as the beginning of the scholarship on Rossetti and the Oxford Movement. Nevertheless, for almost forty years, no one appears to have taken up this line of inquiry. Not until the last decades of the twentieth century do studies of the religious influences shaping Rossetti's poetry begin to appear.

The first of these studies is by John O. Waller in "Christ's Second Coming: Christina Rossetti and the Premillennialist William Dodsworth," published in 1969. He argues that from the age of thirteen to twenty, Rossetti was influenced by the ministry of William Dodsworth, perpetual curate of Christ Church, Albany Street, and an associate of Pusey and Newman. In Rossetti's poetry Waller finds "an imaginative preoccupation with the Second Advent and the Judgment Day" that he sees as originating in her reading and listening to the sermons of Dodsworth. (5) While Waller draws attention to the sermons of a specific clergyman influenced by the Oxford Movement, Raymond Chapman's Faith and Revolt: Studies in the Literary Influence of the Oxford Movement, published in 1970, offers a more thorough evaluation. Describing Rossetti as the "best poet" whom the men of the Oxford Movement "directly inspired," Chapman sees the following correspondences: "There was strong passion, consciously suppressed and offered in the course of faith. There was a dedication of the self which was verbalized in terms of personal attachment to the Saviour, within the disciplines of contemporary Anglo-Catholicism." He also sees Rossetti's "abnegation of worldly things" as springing from "the sense of numinous awe which the Oxford movement had restored to matter-of-fact Christianity" rather than from "a Puritan retreat with refusal to see good in anything material." (6) Following Chapman, Diane Apostolos-Cappodona devotes a brief section of her article "Oxford and the Pre-Raphaelites from the Perspective of Nature and Symbol" (1981) to Rossetti. She argues that the Oxford Movement influenced Rossetti's "religious sensibility," especially her attitude toward the material universe: "Christina Rossetti expresses her role as a Christian symbolist who accepts the sacramental doctrine that material phenomena are both the types and instruments of the real things unseen." (7) Apostolos-Cappodona emphasizes Rossetti's debt to Keble's "goal": "to awaken our sensibilities to the invisible world made intelligible and tangible through the symbolic use of nature" (p. 102).

Also drawing attention to the need to consider Rossetti's religious poetry within the context of specific time and place is Jerome J. McGann's "The Religious Poetry of Christina Rossetti," published in 1983. However, McGann questions this developing tendency to consider Rossetti within the Tractarian context: "It is a commonplace of Rossetti criticism that her poetry is the best expression we have of the ideas and attitudes of Tractarianism. But this is a most misleading view (though not entirely wrong)." (8) Following Waller's article on Dodsworth, McGann agues that Rossetti was influenced more by the premillenarianists, especially in terms of the doctrine of soul-sleep, and that this influence shows itself in her poetry on death and the afterlife, a position subsequently challenged by Linda Marshall's cogent article, "What the Dead are Doing Underground." (9)

While all these articles, including Marshall's, testify to an emerging interest in understanding the specific religious context of Rossetti's poetry, the foundational work on Rossetti and Tractarianism is undoubtedly G. B. Tennyson's Victorian Devotional Poetry: The Tractarian Mode. (10) Tennyson agrees with Chapman in "seeing Rossetti as directly and fully a product of the Oxford Movement": "Christina Rossetti is the true inheritor of the Tractarian devotional mode in poetry. Most of what the Tractarians advocated in theory and sought to put into practice came to fruition in the poetry of Christina Rossetti" (p. 198). Tennyson points to the way her poems can be arranged to form a sort of Christian Year reminiscent of Keble's, and he finds in Rossetti's religious poetry evidence that she shared Keble's association of poetry with prayer and worship: "Keble's bedrock principle that poetry is the expression of intense religious longing finds no more complete exemplification than in the poetry of Christina Rossetti." He also sees many of Rossetti's poems on Christ as reflecting the "intense Incarnationalism that the Tractarians cultivated, especially Keble and Isaac Williams" (pp. 202, 201).

Repeatedly the scholarship done after 1981 on Rossetti and the Tractarians acknowledges Tennyson's study. For example, Linda Schofield cites Tennyson's work in her essay on Rossetti's devotional poetry, as does Diane D'Amico in her article "Christina Rossetti's Christian Year: 'Comfort for the weary heart.'" D'Amico focuses on Rossetti's reading and illustrating of Keble's Christian Year, drawing attention to the role visual images play in defining Rossetti's Tractarianism. In "Being and Understanding: Devotional Poetry of Christina Rossetti and the Tractarians," Schofield argues that Rossetti's confessional poems differ from those of her Tractarian predecessors in that they "dramatize" the act of prayer: Rossetti's "speakers live the message." In the poetry of Keble and the poetry of Newman one hears "what the truth is" while in Rossetti's religious verse we watch the "speaker understand and absorb the truth." (11)

Katherine Mayberry's 1989 book, Christina Rossetti and the Poetry of Discovery, also builds on the work of Tennyson. Drawing on Tennyson's discussion of the Tractarian doctrine of Analogy, Mayberry finds that if we view Rossetti's poetic work within the context of that doctrine, the seemingly contradictory secular and religious poems are reconciled: "Christina Rossetti's poetry--both religious and secular--is based on, and represents the Tractarian belief in, a symbolic world created and presided over by a loving God." (12) Furthermore, after citing Keble's Tract 89 and his Lectures on Poetry, Mayberry argues that in the aesthetics of Tractarianism Rossetti found a way to overcome any guilt she might have felt over embracing a poetic vocation: "What suited Rossetti about the Tractarian philosophy was its justification of her choice of the poetic vocation" (p. 129).

In Christina Rossetti in Context, Antony Harrison devotes attention to the Tractarian context of Rossetti's poetry in a chapter on Rossetti's "devotionalist ideology." Like Mayberry, he first focuses on the Tractarian concept of Analogy and cites the work of Tennyson. Harrison argues for seeing Pre-Raphaelitism and Tractarianism not as opposing influences on Rossetti but as "compatible, indeed deeply related." (13) Rossetti's "aesthetic values" were "Romantic, transcendental, and even Platonic, but they were also ... sacramental in radically conservative, often Tractarian ways (p. 65). Harrison also stresses the "Tractarian insistence upon the interpenetration of art and religion" and argues that for Rossetti, as for Keble, poetry was "divine medicine" (p. 86). Thirdly, he sees in Rossetti's poetry a reflection of the "ascetic withdrawal" advocated by the Oxford Movement (p. 159). In a subsequent article, "Christina Rossetti and the Sage Discourse of Feminist High Anglicanism," Harrison argues for seeing the renunciatory impulse in Rossetti's poetry within the context of the movement to establish Anglican sisterhoods. He then argues that Rossetti's support for Anglican sisterhoods was a feminist act. Although these institutions seem conservative today, they were in their day viewed as "radically liberating for the women who became involved with them" in that they offered women another sphere of power and influence that allowed them to go outside the limits of the family structure. (14) Harrison concludes that Rossetti's "sage discourse always advocates renunciation and resistance" and works to challenge the patriarchal "ideologies in order to expose their inability to fulfill the spiritual, moral, and even intellectual needs of Victorian women" (p. 104).

Margaret Johnson also considers the significance of gender in a chapter she devotes to Rossetti's influence on Hopkins. Rossetti is among five Tractarian poets Johnson considers in Gerard Manley Hopkins and Tractarian Poetry. (15) Labeling Rossetti a "Tractarian poet," Johnson sees both Rossetti and Hopkins as being influenced by Tractarian views on nature and the Incarnation; however, she sees differences that arose because of differences in gender: "Rossetti's and Hopkins' perceptions of the role of nature in revealing God, and the character of the sacrificed Christ, were influenced by their differing understanding of the position of women in Victorian religious and social spheres" (p. 94). As Johnson develops her thesis, she contrasts Hopkins' interpretations of Eve and the Virgin Mary with those of Rossetti, finding in Hopkins' work a misogynist view of women that indicates that for him the "only good woman is a dead one." She continues, "Nor could he even contemplate the idea of a feminine Christ.... The deliberate crossing of gender barriers in Goblin Market has no equivalent in Hopkins' poetry; for he, unlike Rossetti, perceives the myth of feminine frailty as it is expressed in the story of Eve, as distinct from that of man" (p. 131).

In the work of Maria Keaton and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, the emphasis is again on the Tractarian doctrines of Reserve and Analogy. In "Mystic, Madwoman or Metaphysician?: The Analogical Theodicy of Christina Rossetti," Maria Keaton focuses on Rossetti's collection of children's poetry, Sing-Song: "As it stands, Sing-Song appears to say more about its author's metaphysical ideas than about her response to her life experiences; in particular, she uses these deceptively simply lyrics to express her understanding of the Anglo-Catholic doctrines of Analogy and Reserve." (16) Keaton's article is significant for its placing of these children's poems in the context of Rossetti's faith. Illustrations of Rossetti's writing are the focus of Lorraine Janzen Kooistra's Christina Rossetti and Illustration. When examining the Tractarian influence upon Rossetti, Kooistra emphasizes the importance of the Tractarian doctrine of Reserve as informing Rossetti's "verbal-visual aesthetic." (17) Kooistra gives special attention to Keble and Williams: "The Tractarian movement's revival of typological and analogical modes of thought, especially as expressed in the poetry of John Keble and Isaac Williams, nurtured Rossetti's own tendency to view objects and events as material signs of a profound spiritual reality" (pp. 5-6). Referring to the fact that Rossetti illustrated her personal copies of Keble's Christian Year and Williams' The Altar, Kooistra argues that "illustration had, for Rossetti, not only an aesthetic, an interpretive function, but also a deeply spiritual significance, for it was by this material means that the invisible could be made visible, just as the ineffable could be hinted at in the resonance of poetic language" (p. 29). After considering in some detail Rossetti's illustrations for Keble's Christian Year, Kooistra concludes that Rossetti found "Tractarian poets like Keble and Williams inspirational because they mirrored her own emblematic tendencies" (p. 30). Later in her study, Kooistra singles out Rossetti's devotional prose work Called to be Saints as a work especially influenced by Tractarianism. She concludes that in this study "Rossetti is teaching the Tractarian lesson that God's Book of Nature is open to all who have eyes to see, regardless of their level of income, education, or leisure" (p. 151).

As interest in the Tractarian influence upon Rossetti has developed, repeated attention has been given to the doctrines of Reserve and Analogy, especially Analogy. For example, scholars have considered Rossetti's response to Nature as well as her understanding of symbolism and poetic use of it as following directly from this Tractarian doctrine. Reserve seems to play a role when Rossetti scholars seek to understand or explain something of the restraint in her poetic style, as well as the impression that her speakers sometimes give of either having a secret or of keeping silent. Two articles by Emma Mason approach Rossetti from this Tractarian perspective. In "Christina Rossetti and the Doctrine of Reserve," Mason focuses on "the poet's Tractarian theology and how this belief-system is commented upon and reinforced in Rossetti's writing." (18) Her essay explores Rossetti's "interest in reserve, analyzing the doctrine itself and discussing the necessarily secretive manner by which the poet invokes reserve in her poetry." She argues that "rather than a broken heart or abused selfhood, that provoked Rossetti's reticent diction," it was the religious doctrine of Reserve (p. 197). In this regard, Mason's views position her with those Rossetti scholars who seek to read the strain of self-abnegation in Rossetti's verse as in keeping with her religion rather than as a sign of personal disappointment in love. In "A Sort of Aesthestico-Catholic Revival: Christina Rossetti and the London Ritualist Scene," Mason writes: "Viewing Christina Rossetti within this ritualist context underlines her position in Victorian Anglo-Catholicism while illuminating her personal beliefs, connections with Tractarian preachers and personal poetic methodology." (19) Her approach helps to account for the ceremonial features of Rossetti's religious poetry, and she sees Rossetti's Verses (1893) as a "companion piece to Burrow's history of Christ Church, both writers serving to conjure the atmosphere of a place of worship central to both mid nineteenth-century ritualism and Victorian Anglo-Catholicism" (p. 126).

Three recent book-length studies mark a shift in critical thinking about Rossetti as her religious attachments are being taken much more seriously. Diane D'Amico's Christina Rossetti: Faith, Gender, and Time makes illuminating use of Rossetti's prose in the interpretation of her religious poetry and by taking her faith seriously discloses religious dimensions in the poems not hitherto sufficiently explicated. (20) While D'Amico does not explore the direct influence of specific men of the Oxford Movement upon Rossetti, she emphasizes Rossetti's acceptance of Anglican sisterhoods and draws attention to the importance of the Eucharist in Rossetti's religious experience. Lynda Palazzo's Christina Rossetti's Feminist Theology is the second of these recent studies. She finds in Rossetti's devotional prose a prefiguring of twentieth-century feminist theology. She argues that Rossetti resisted, even rejected, aspects of Tractarian doctrine that can be seen as male and patriarchal. (21) Pusey's teachings, for example, are shown to renew the Church Fathers' "distorted claims of the innate sinfulness of womankind" (Palazzo, p. xiii). She sees this response to woman as connected to what she finds to be the "deadly Tractarian inheritance of physical mortification and fear of the body" (p. 63). Palazzo finds in Rossetti's devotional prose evidence that she resisted this tendency, and therefore argues that Rossetti was not a follower of Keble and Pusey: Tractarians see Nature as symbol only, while Rossetti sees in it an "independent, essential holiness" (p. 69). Palazzo concludes that, unlike the Tractarians, Rossetti valued the world of the physical and the body. In this regard Palazzo differs from those Rossetti scholars who find in Rossetti's work and life an ascetic strain that follows Pusey.

The third major study is Mary Arseneau's Recovering Christina Rossetti: Female Community and Incarnational Poetics, which focuses on the Anglo-Catholic religious devotion Rossetti shared with her mother and sister as well as with her two maternal aunts: "The Rossetti women expressed their faith in devotional practices, in religious social work, in their vocal interest in church politics, in their lively engagement with Tractarian literature, and in their own adaptations of Tractarian poetics." (22) Like others before her, Arseneau focuses on Reserve and Analogy. She argues that by employing Reserve Rossetti both "resolves the woman poet's anxiety" over public display and "generates the reticence, secrecy, mystery, renunciation, modesty, and detachment that are the characteristic notes" of her poetic voice (p. 7). Arseneau sees Analogy as a "fundamental assumption underlying Tractarian ritual and worship, Tractarian poetics, and virtually every aspect of Rossetti's belief and art" (p. 12). Arseneau's book incorporates earlier published work, including "Incarnation and Interpretation: Christina Rossetti, the Oxford Movement, and Goblin Market," where she argues that "one of the most fundamental assumptions underlying Rossetti's poetry is her theologically based belief that the created world is capable of communicating moral and spiritual meaning." (23) Among the various "influences in Rossetti's life that would have encouraged this belief," Arseneau singles out "the impact of the intense incarnationalism and sacramentalism of the Oxford Movement" as the "most important" (pp. 79-80). She then offers a reading of Goblin Market as a "paradigm of the kind of symbolic interpretation in which Rossetti wanted her readers to engage" (p. 79). Ultimately, Arseneau finds in the entire body of Rossetti's work signs of an "incarnational poetic": "For Rossetti, all symbolism is enabled by the Incarnation, which she understood to have restored spiritual significance to a fallen world" (p. 7). Among Rossetti scholars, Arseneau stands out for exploring in detail the Incarnation as central to an understanding of Rossetti's poetic practices, and for giving substance to Frances and Maria Rossetti, who have thus far appeared as rather shadowy figures in Rossetti scholarship.

Tractarian poetry has also recently been the subject of several studies. Rossetti scholars might find such work useful, as they work to establish her position in relation to this body of poetry. Rodney Stenning Edgecombe, in Two Poets of the Oxford Movement: John Keble and John Henry Newman, examines the poetry of Keble and Newman as poetry rather than as "an index to the theology and poetics of the movement." (24) The Christian Year is marked by "'primitive' proto-Tractarianism" (Edgecombe, p. 20). Edgecombe emphasizes the continuities it manifests with eighteenth-century poetry, especially with Gray, Collins, and Cowper. One quality that links Tractarians Keble, Newman, and Williams is "a shared cult of mortification"; "self-mortification" played a large part in forming the Tractarian sensibility. He provides a sequential analysis of all the poems, noting their rhetorical qualities, biblical resonances, and their articulation of themes (p. 27). In "Keble and Newman: Tractarian Aesthetics and the Romantic Tradition," Gregory Goodwin provides a concise account of Keble's thinking about poetry, identifying where he is indebted to Wordsworth and Romantic tradition and where he "goes beyond the Victorian age" and anticipates "Freudian ideas of repression and the related theory of poetic precursors developed by Harold Bloom." (25) Poetry is involved with Keble's defense of the Fathers since they used images and symbols to express and convey their faith. Keble points to a reciprocity between religion and poetry (though poetry is always subordinate in value) and was intrigued by the "possibility of a Catholic poetry" (p. 486). Stephen Prickett's "Tractarian Poetry" in A Companion to Victorian Poetry also outlines Keble's ideas about poetry and calls Rossetti "a Tractarian poet," but he treats Hopkins as both the primary inheritor of the tradition and at the same time the transformer of it. (26) In the same volume, W. David Shaw links Tractarianism with a conservative hermeneutics and identifies Rossetti as combining the "scriptural integrity and lyrical excellence which typological poetry ... exists to express." (27)

In general terms, all this recent scholarly work on Rossetti and the Tractarians has helped move attention away from the critical approach long taken of explaining themes and qualities of her poetry in terms of her love life or in terms of perceived personality traits toward seeing her life and poetry within a specific time and place. In retrospect, Raymond Chapman's work, published in 1970, linking Rossetti with the Tractarians, stands out as especially important. It seems to mark the beginning of, or at least to foreshadow, the more recent phase of Rossetti scholarship that is emphasizing the context of her faith. Mary Arseneau's recent work persuasively demonstrates that additional aspects of Rossetti's spiritual practice await recovery and assessment. Much is clearly to be gained by considering Rossetti within the context of Tractarian influence. An awareness of the role of the Oxford Movement in shaping her life and work might make some of her poems more accessible to a twenty-first-century reader. More importantly, however, working closely with Rossetti's response to Tractarianism might help to counter the view held by many scholars that Rossetti's religious verse was not worthy poetry, so to speak, but merely poetic paraphrases of general Christian beliefs. In fact, continued discussion of Rossetti and the Tractarian influence might become part of a larger debate and exploration of religious poetry itself and its current place and status in the academic community.

In more specific terms, continuing to explore the relationship between Rossetti and the Tractarians should lead to more complex and nuanced readings of poems that have been thus far overlooked. Joel Westerholm's recent article "In Defense of Verses: The Aesthetic and Reputation of Christina Rossetti's Late Poetry" suggests this is already beginning to happen. (28) Westerholm focuses on the sonnet "Alone Lord God, in Whom our trust and peace," the first sonnet in Verses (1893). In his discussion of this poem, he seeks to "complicate" what previous scholars have said of Rossetti's response to the Tractarian doctrine of Reserve (p. 193). As such close work with Rossetti's response to Analogy and Reserve continues, other specific aspects of Tractarianism might also be explored. For example, more could be done on the doctrine and debate within the Anglican Church regarding the Real Presence. Significantly, in 1863, two of Rossetti's poems appeared in Lyra Eucharistica: Hymns and Verses on the Holy Communion, edited by Rev. Orby Shipley, a devoted ritualist who later converted to Roman Catholicism. In addition, Linda Schofield's work on the confessional voice in Rossetti's religious poetry might be extended to consider such poetry within the context of the debate over the practice of confession. More work on Rossetti's treatment of the Virgin Mary within the context of the Oxford Movement's response to the mother of Jesus needs to be done. One might ask also if the Oxford Movement led to a more feminine view of Christ and if such a depiction appears in Rossetti's poetry and prose. Finally, continuing to examine Rossetti and the Tractarians may shed further light on her position regarding Roman Catholicism. Rossetti's relationship to Tractarianism is evidently complex, and many of its dimensions have only begun to be disclosed.


(1) B.F. Westcott, An Appreciation of the Late Christina Georgina Rossetti (London, 1899), p. 22; W. Robertson Nicoll, "Christina Rossetti," The Bookman (New York) 7 (March 1898): 73-75; and W.K.L.C., intro., Verses, by Christina Rossetti (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1925), n.p.

(2) Mrs. Aubrey Richardson, Women of the Church of England (London: Chapman and Hall, 1907), p. 237.

(3) Irene A. M. Shipton, "Christina Rossetti: The Poetess of the Oxford Movement," The Church Quarterly 116 (1933): 219-229.

(4) Rev. Desmond Morse-Boycott, Lead, Kindly Light: Studies of the Saints and Heroes of the Oxford Movement (London: The Centenary Press, 1932), p. 124. Morse-Boycott also includes Rossetti in two other works: The Secret Story of the Oxford Movement (London: Skeffington, 1933) and They Shine Like Stars (London: Skeffington, 1947).

(5) John O. Waller, "Christ's Second Coming: Christina Rossetti and the Premillennialist William Dodsworth," Bulletin of the New York Public Library 73 (1969): 481.

(6) Raymond Chapman, Faith and Revolt: Studies in the Literary Influence of the Oxford Movement (London: Weidenfeld, 1970), pp. 170-171, 184.

(7) Diane Apostolos-Cappodona, "Oxford and the Pre-Raphaelites from the Perspective of Nature and Symbol," JPRS 2, no. 1 (November 1981): 100.

(8) Jerome J. McGann, "The Religious Poetry of Christina Rossetti," CritI 10 (1983): 143.

(9) Linda Marshall, "What the Dead Are Doing Underground: Hades and Heaven in the Writings of Christina Rossetti," VN 72 (1987): 55-60.

(10) G.B. Tennyson, Victorian Devotional Poetry: The Tractarian Mode (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1981).

(11) Diane D'Amico, "Christina Rossetti's Christian Year: 'Comfort for the weary heart,'" VN (Fall 1987): 36-42; Linda Schofield, "Being and Understanding: The Devotional Poetry of Christina Rossetti and the Tractarians," in The Achievement of Christina Rossetti, ed. David A. Kent (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1987), p. 302.

(12) Katherine Mayberry, Christina Rossetti and the Poetry of Discovery (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1989), p. 114.

(13) Antony H. Harrison, Christina Rossetti in Context (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1988), p. 69.

(14) Antony H. Harrison, "Christina Rossetti and the Sage Discourse of Feminist High Anglicanism," in Victorian Sages and Cultural Discourse: Renegotiating Gender and Power, ed. Thais E. Morgan (New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1990), p. 98.

(15) Margaret Johnson, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Tractarian Poetry (Brookfield, Vermont: Ashgate, 1997).

(16) Maria Keaton, "Mystic, Madwoman or Metaphysician?: The Analogical Theodicy of Christina Rossetti," in Outsiders Looking In: The Rossettis, Then and Now, ed. David Clifford and Laurence Rousillon (London: Anthem, 2004), p. 146.

(17) Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Christina Rossetti and Illustration (Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 2002), p. 34.

(18) Emma Mason, "Christina Rossetti and the Doctrine of Reserve," Journal of Victorian Culture 7 (2002): 196.

(19) Emma Mason, "A Sort of Aesthestico-Catholic-Revivah Christina Rossetti and the London Ritualist Scene," in Outsiders Looking In, p. 116.

(20) Diane D'Amico, Christina Rossetti: Faith, Gender, and Time (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1999); see also her "'Choose the stairs that mount above': Christina Rossetti and the Anglican Sisterhoods," Essays in Literature 17 (1990): 204-221.

(21) Lynda Palazzo, Christina Rossetti's Feminist Theology (New York: Palgrave, 2002). Another scholar who has sought to modify prevailing views is Robert Kachur, "Repositioning the Female Reader: Christina Rossetti as Tractarian Hermeneut in The Face of the Deep," VP 35 (1997): 193-214. Kachur argues, "Despite her participation in a form of Anglicanism which especially emphasizes the importance of patriarchal church hierarchy, Rossetti and her sectarian counterparts use inherited Tractarian doctrines to suggest that it is 'male' biblical exegesis--not the Bible per se--which hinders women's own attempts to become interpreters of the Word" (p. 194).

(22) Mary Arseneau, Recovering Christina Rossetti (Houndmills, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), p. 5.

(23) Mary Arseneau, "Incarnation and Interpretation: Christina Rossetti, the Oxford Movement, and Goblin Market," VP 31 (1993): 79.

(24) Rodney Stenning Edgecombe, Two Poets of the Oxford Movement: John Keble and John Henry Newman (Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 1996), p. 9. Edgecombe finds Keble's reactionary conservatism distasteful (e.g., p. 90) but often uses Herbert to demonstrate the sophistication of some of the verses (e.g., p. 95). He notes his Catholic tendencies, such as his treatment of saints as "paradigms" at a time when "veneration of the saints" was not permitted (p. 138) or claiming the heavenly motherhood of St. Mary, daring for an Anglican poem of 1823 (p. 145). Newman's Lyra Apostolica is also examined poem by poem, with Edgecombe noting echoes of Gray and Keats as well as scripture and commenting on theological issues implied in, and the controversies aggressively asserted in, the text. While trying to give due credit to the poet's distinctiveness in manner and style, he is not especially sympathetic to Newman's renunciatory impulses, his "insular spirituality" (p. 238), or a tone of "repellent smugness" (p. 231) he occasionally detects.

(25) Gregory Goodwin, "Keble and Newman: Tractarian Aesthetics and the Romantic Tradition," VS 30 (1987): 478-479. In contrast, Newman holds a "much lower opinion" (p. 487) of poetry. He was not interested in possible connections between theology and literature, and generally he was skeptical about the natural world and natural religion so important to Romanticism.

(26) Stephen Prickett, "Tractarian Poetry," in A Companion to Victorian Poetry, ed. Richard Cronin et al (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), p. 285.

(27) W. David Shaw, "Poetry and Religion," Companion to Victorian Poetry, p. 459.

(28) Joel Westerholm, "In Defence of Verses: The Aesthetic and Reputation of Christina Rossetti's Late Poetry," Renascence 51, no. 3 (Spring 1999): 191-203.
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Title Annotation:Christina Rossetti
Author:D'Amico, Diane; Kent, David A.
Publication:Victorian Poetry
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 22, 2006
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