Christina Rossetti


'Give me the lowest place'


Christina Georgina Rossetti is buried in Highgate Cemetery, North London, England. She was buried in the same grave as her mother and father. (The grave is situated towards the front of the cemetery.)

Rossetti Family Grave
Photograph by Scott Michaels

Christina was the daughter of Gabriele Rossetti and grew up in an artistic and politically aware household. She was educated at home.

One of her brothers was Dante Gabriel Rossetti  - a painter and a poet - while the other was William Michael Rossetti - a leading art critic and editor. It was William who edited her complete works in 1904 (10 years after her death).

At one stage she was engaged to painter James Collinson - a member of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood - but the engagement was broken off in 1850.

Christina suffered with poor health for much of her life and as a result she rarely went out or received visitors. She lived, for much of the time, with her mother. Her poetry, which is often compared to that of Emily Brontė, is characterised by an overwhelming sense of melancholy. Some modern readers also find it overly morbid and maudlin.

Her most famous collections include: Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862) , The Prince's Progress and Other Poems (1866) and Sing-Song, a Nursery Rhyme Book (1872).

Rossetti contracted cancer in 1891, but an operation prolonged her life until December 1894.

Remember me when I am gone away,
  Gone far away into the silent land;
  When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
  You tell me of our future that you planned:
  Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
  And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
  For if the darkness and corruption leave
  A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
  Than that you should remember and be sad.


Christina Rossetti
Portrait by D.G. Rossetti


Read more of Rossetti's poetry






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