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Title: "1 Wept for Memory:" Christina Rossetti's Writings for Children
Authors: Ferns, John
Lachowski, Lori Ann
Keywords: English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature
Issue Date: Sep-1998
Abstract: <p>Christina Rossetti's writings for children exist as testimony to her literary genius. The common thread of her most noteworthy works for children--Maude, Sing-Song, Speaking Likenesses, and Goblin Market--is the child's journey. In Maude, Rossetti I writes a semi-autobiographical prose work that depicts one Victorian female's introspection and spiritual angst. The more successful nostalgic lyricism of Sing-Song celebrates childhood and a child's intimate relationship with the world. In Speaking Likenesses, Rossetti makes an attempt at parody, and experiments with the creation of a child's fantasy world. Finally, in Goblin Market, a work frequently adapted for children, Rossetti successfully combines a multiplicity of themes: temptation, redemption, sisterly love, and the value of experience. In the last three of these children's works, Rossetti displays an often-unrecognized talent for fantasy writing. The thesis attempts to analyze Rossetti's writing for children. In particular, the role of memory in relation to the author and her subject is seen as an essential component of adult wholeness. Rossetti frequently incorporates personal reminiscences in her children's poems and prose, utilizing the pathway of memory to console, to reflect, and to find joy. Her major children's works demonstrate a more objective perspective from an author that many believe is overly introspective and self-critical. This thesis attempts to show that while Rossetti's adult poetry often laments the futility of earthly existence, her children's writings reveal a hidden dimension of objectivity and joyfulness in her craft.</p>
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