By L. Palazzo
This quantity disputes the idea that Rossetti used to be a follower of Keble and Pusey, and exhibits how her dissatisfaction with the male-dominated name to celibacy led her to reject their notions of worldliness, and to shape a better bond with the actual global and the physique.
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Additional resources for Christina Rossetti’s Feminist Theology
My rejection of the renunciatory female figure as the crucial symbol in the critical appreciation of Rossetti’s work is, in effect, going against mainstream Rossetti criticism, which tends to see her in biographical and literary terms as an isolated, withdrawn and ultimately frustrated woman, locked into a stance of passionate destitution from which she is able only to subvert existing conventions. Sandra Gubar’s depiction of Rossetti as one of the ‘great nineteenth-century women singers of renunciation as necessity’s highest and noblest virtue’,43 which has to a certain extent inspired this critical tendency, although it has done much to bring Rossetti’s work to the attention of feminists and to postmodern sensibility, has worked against it in that such an approach 22 Christina Rossetti’s Feminist Theology cannot profitably illuminate the Rossetti of the devotional works.
But the Victorian reader would immediately recognise the milkmaid as an evil temptress, a Miltonic Eve leading Adam astray. There is no subversion here. The narrator even raises in her audience if not a laugh, then a wry smile, in the revelation that the Prince is making excuses for himself. Rossetti knows her audience: Loth to stay, yet to leave her slack, He half turned away, then he quite turned back: For courtesy’s sake he could not lack To redeem his own royal pledge Ahead too the windy heaven lowered black With a fire-cloven edge.
What promises to be a document on women’s religious emancipation is ultimately oppressive because Littledale is fearful of the feminine 38 Christina Rossetti’s Feminist Theology in theology, equating it with inferiority and weakness, and is unable to grasp the true nature of women’s objection to the male bias of Christianity. What he sees as ‘the feminine way of regarding theology’ is simply a projection of the way the male-dominated Church would like women to relate to theology. The desolation and despair which underlie Rossetti’s next major poem, The Prince’s Progress, owe as much to her intellectual and spiritual loneliness as they do to her perception of her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s tardy marriage to Lizzie Siddall.
Christina Rossetti’s Feminist Theology by L. Palazzo