Christina Rossetti

Date of birth: 1830 — Date of death: 1894

Poet. Sister to Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919) and Maria Francesca Rossetti (1827-1876). Rossetti was taught at home by her mother. She enjoyed success as a poet and sat as a model for members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Christina Rossetti suffered from bouts of ill health throughout her life, her pale appearance contributing to the Pre-Raphaelite vision of female fragility. She became engaged to the artists James Collinson (1825-1881) in 1849, but this was broken off in 1850. There were two more proposals from Charles Cayley (1823-1883) and John Brett (1831-1902) but these were also rejected. Rossetti contributed poems to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood magazine The Germ, under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyn. She also contributed to The Athenaeum and Macmillan's Magazine. Rossetti's first collection of poetry, '”Goblin Market” and other Poems', was published under her own name by Macmillan & Co. in 1862. In later life, Rossetti was involved in voluntary work at the St Mary Magdalene Penitentiary in Highgate. She died of cancer.