Maria Francesca Rossetti

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Maria Francesca Rossetti
The Rossetti Family by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson).jpg
Born (1827-02-17)17 February 1827
London, England
Died 24 November 1876(1876-11-24)
London, England
Occupation Writer and nun
Language English
Nationality British
Notable works The Shadow of Dante: Being an essay towards studying himself, his world, and his pilgrimage.
Spouse none
Partner none
Relatives Gaetano Polidori (maternal grandfather), Gabriele Rossetti (father), Frances Polidori (mother), John William Polidori (maternal uncle), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (brother), Christina Georgina Rossetti (sister), William Michael Rossetti (brother)

Maria Francesca Rossetti (17 February 1827 – 24 November 1876) was an English author. She was the sister of artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti as well as William Michael Rossetti and Christina Georgina Rossetti, who dedicated her 1862 poem Goblin Market to Maria. She was born in London.

Literary and religious life[edit]

She was the author of The Shadow of Dante: Being an essay towards studying himself, his world, and his pilgrimage. (published 1871). She also acted as a governess during the years of family hardship brought on by her father's failing health and tutored a young Lucy Madox Brown, her future sister-in-law.

At the age of 46, Maria joined the Society of All Saints, an Anglican order for women and Lucy Madox Brown wanted to paint her in her habit.[1] She made an English translation of the Monastic Diurnal for her order, The Day Hours and Other Offices as Used by the Sisters of All Saints, which was used by her order until 1922. She, along with her sister Christina, donated her time to the St Mary Magdalene Home for Fallen Women in Highgate.[2] She unsuccessfully attempted to convert her agnostic brothers on her death bed. [3]

Personal life[edit]

Her siblings teased her about her plain appearance, nicknaming her 'Moony' for her rounded face.[4] Maria never married. She was a friend of John Ruskin, having visited his home at Denmark Hill, and at 28 she developed romantic feelings for him after his marriage was annulled.[5]

Death[edit]

Maria died of ovarian cancer in 1876, despite drawn-out treatments to try to drain the tumour.[6] She was buried in the convent plot at Brompton Cemetery.

Further reading[edit]

  • Elkin, SusanRossetti, Maria Francesca (1827–1876), author and Anglican nun [2]
  • Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: Quartet, 1985)
  • Roe, Dinah The Rossettis in Wonderland. A Victorian Family History (London: Haus Publishing, 2011), ISBN 978-1-907822-01-8


References[edit]

  1. ^ Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: Quartet, 1985), p. 313.
  2. ^ Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: Quartet, 1985), p. 185.
  3. ^ Roe, Dinah The Rossettis in Wonderland. A Victorian Family History (London: Haus Publishing, 2011), pp. 292-293.
  4. ^ Elkin, SusanRossetti, Maria Francesca (1827–1876), author and Anglican nun [1]
  5. ^ Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: Quartet, 1985), p. 114. and Roe, Dinah The Rossettis in Wonderland. A Victorian Family History (London: Haus Publishing, 2011), pp. 166-168.
  6. ^ Roe, Dinah The Rossettis in Wonderland. A Victorian Family History (London: Haus Publishing, 2011), pp. 289-292.

See also[edit]