By L. Palazzo
This quantity disputes the idea that Rossetti was once a follower of Keble and Pusey, and exhibits how her dissatisfaction with the male-dominated name to celibacy led her to reject their notions of worldliness, and to shape a more in-depth bond with the actual global and the physique.
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Additional resources for Christina Rossetti’s Feminist Theology
Rossetti knows her audience: Loth to stay, yet to leave her slack, He half turned away, then he quite turned back: For courtesy’s sake he could not lack To redeem his own royal pledge Ahead too the windy heaven lowered black With a fire-cloven edge. 85–90) The subtext of despair emerges clearly only when, for example, the representation of the milkmaid is compared with Goblin Market’s reworking of the Fall and Rossetti’s refusal to contemplate a sinful Eve. In The Prince’s Progress Eve (in the form of the milkmaid), the scapegoat herself, rather than the Prince, becomes the serpent as we watch: So he stretched his length in the apple-tree shade, Lay and laughed and talked to the maid, 40 Christina Rossetti’s Feminist Theology Who twisted her hair in a cunning braid And writhed it in shining serpent-coils, And held him a day and night fast laid In her subtle toils.
Both sisters sleep comfortably in a ‘curtained bed’, prepare (and presumably also eat) rich, nourishing food, cakes with ‘churned butter, whipped up cream’, and Lizzie at least sings ‘for the mere bright day’s delight’ (16). Nowhere in the poem is blame attached to pleasure of any kind. In fact, for its time, the poem is remarkable for the absence of allusions to any kind of female sin, guilt or atonement. Suggestions of sin and evil lie exclusively in the goblins, and there is no threat whatsoever of punishment to any of the maidens should they look at them or eat their fruit; only a warning that ‘their evil gifts would harm us’ (12).
Rossetti did have opportunities to discuss religious matters within her church circle, however, and two clergymen are prominent in her biographies: Rev. Burrows, a friend since his taking over of Christ Church in 1850, who wrote the foreword to her first devotional volume, Annus Domini, in 1874, and Dr. W. Littledale, a High Church friend of the Rossettis’ good friends, the Scotts, and chaplain to a London Sisterhood. Although Rossetti’s emphasis on the moral superiority of women was probably derived from evangelical notions of woman’s purity and came through her mother, Rev.
Christina Rossetti’s Feminist Theology by L. Palazzo