Goblin Market and other Poems ('Remember', 'Goblin Market', 'Cousin Kate')

Goblin Market and Other Poems was Christina Rossetti's (1830 – 1894) first volume of poetry, published in 1862. It contains her famous poem ‘Goblin Market’ and others such as ‘Up-hill’, ‘The Convent Threshold’ and ‘Maude Clare.’ ‘Goblin Market’ is an inventive and sensuous poem about two sisters, Laura and Lizzie. The girls are propositioned by goblins, who tempt them to purchase luscious fruits. Despite Lizzie’s warnings, Laura succumbs. Subsequently she craves more fruit, and Lizzie is forced to rescue her. Many contemporaries of Christina Rossetti regarded Goblin Market as a simple moral fable or fairy tale. However the poem has been analysed from a wide range of critical perspectives, relating to the poet’s own life; to Christian themes; to gender, sisterhood and lesbianism, and to discussions about the psychology of the divided self.

Second edition of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, with original covers

Second edition of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, with original covers [page: front cover]

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Christina Rossetti
Victorian Literature
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Related articles

An introduction to 'Goblin Market'

Article by
Dinah Roe
Victorian poetry

In ‘Goblin Market’, Christina Rossetti experiments with language, form and imagery to create a world of temptation and mystery. Dr Dinah Roe considers Rossetti’s influences and the different ways in which the poem has been illustrated and interpreted since its publication.

Christina Rossetti: gender and power

Article by
Simon Avery
Gender and sexuality, Victorian poetry

The Victorian period witnessed massive changes in thinking about women’s roles in society. Dr Simon Avery asks how Christina Rossetti's poetry sits within this context, looking at her representations of oppression, female identity, marriage and the play of power between men and women.

Christina Rossetti: religious poetry

Article by
Simon Avery
Victorian poetry

With close readings of 'Up-Hill' and 'A Birthday', Dr Simon Avery explores the tensions and questions that characterise the quest for spiritual fulfilment found in Christina Rossetti's religious poetry.

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