To-day’s your natal day;
Sweet flowers I bring:
In April 1842, the English poet Christina Georgina Rossetti, at the age of eleven, penned those opening lines to a poem actually written for her mother’s birthday.
Christina is the subject of my work-in-progress next novel and today is the 188th anniversary of her birth, December 5, 1830.
She was part of a remarkable family of English-Italian scholars, artists, and poets, her older brother being Dante Gabriel Rossetti, founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
I thought I’d share a little excerpt from my novel that’s in its very early stages of creation. The following is from the first chapter, describing the intimacy between brother and sister, who, as children, were very similar in temperament and interests. They were called “the two storms”, while their sister Maria and brother William were called ‘the two calms”.
In adulthood Gabriel’s hand revered and mocked her, in childhood it held hers on their long walks through the park and zoo, and sometimes even farther to the poor folks’ heights of London named prettily and nostalgically Primrose Hill. For children who didn’t mind being blown about, the broad meadowed mound was a welcome contrast to the grime and gridlock of the city. It offered the chase, not for wolves or boars or deer, but, as a Tutor King must have also enjoyed, the benefits of fresh air, exercise, escape, and a sense of being on top of the world.
Copyright © 2018 by DM Denton
Sing, that in thy song I may
Dream myself once more a child
from Maud by Christina Rossetti
Happy Birthday, Christina Rossetti
©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.
A first glimpse at your work in progress! Very exciting. How evocative those old photographs are – I’ve not seen them before. Looking forward to some more ‘teasers’ as your work progresses 🙂 x
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Hi, Deborah. Glad you enjoyed the little snippet. Yes, the photographs are wonderful, aren’t they? There is something about old photographs – with all the technology today they are often more appealing, enticing. More snippets to come – for sure. XO