Notebook of Christina Rossetti (five of six), 24 April 1863-26 August 1864

Description

This manuscript is one of Christina Rossetti’s poetry notebooks: small, bound and lined booklets used to transcribe, in neat and carefully pencilled or inked handwriting, fair copies of her poetry after initial drafting. This is the fifth notebook in the British Library's collections, containing poems dating from 24 April 1863 to 26 August 1864. 

These include 'Maiden Song' and 'Margery', a sympathetic and frank exploration of a woman's heartbreak. The poem reveals the way in which society held vastly different attitudes to men and women in the context of relationships and sexuality; the neighbours squarely blame Margery for her sorrow, declaring 'Girls should not make themselves so cheap'. The poem's speaker claims to agree with these opinions - yet they also question and subvert them. The speaker chastises the behaviour of the man who has broken Margery's heart by imagining 'were I that man', concluding 'I should my very self abhor'.

Full title:
Six Notebooks used by Christina Rossetti for the inscription of fair copies of her poems
Created:
24 April 1863-26 August 1864
Format:
Manuscript / Notebook / Fair copy
Creator:
Christina Rossetti
Usage terms

We have been unable to locate the copyright holder in this material. Please contact copyright@bl.uk with any information you have regarding this item.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
Ashley MS 1364 (5)

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