The poems selected in this volume display the extraordinary talent of Christina Rossetti, showing her to be one of the nineteenth century's most important English poets. Here, ordinary and magical worlds collide as humans speak to God, poets speak to their muses and hope battles against despair. Devotional poems such as 'St. Peter' and 'Out of the Deep' describe Rossetti's profound religious faith, while in 'A Christmas Carol' and 'At Last' she offers herself to God. Works such as 'Hope in Grief' show optimism in the face of loss, and 'Marina,' 'Heart's Chill Between,' 'L.E.L.' and 'Twice' are among many meditations on the bittersweet nature of love. This volume also includes the bewitching fantasy 'Goblin Market,' in which the mundane act of shopping becomes rife with fairy-tale enchantment and menace.
In her introduction, Dinah Roe discusses Rossetti's complexity and imaginative powers; her life, literary career and religious beliefs; and the changing critical perceptions of her works. This edition includes further reading, a chronology and notes.