Dinah Roe challenges the persistent myth that religion dulled the edge of Rossetti's creativity, arguing instead that religion sharpened her wits. It reveals how Rossetti's literary legacy has suffered from a misunderstanding of the nature, history and sincerity of the poet's Christianity. Despite advances made by feminist critics in the rediscovery of Rossetti, the myth of the poet's 'overscrupulous' Christianity persists. The thoughtful, dynamic and religious artist who lived and produced well into her sixties is in danger of being overlooked.Rossetti assimilated various influences, from Tractarian writing to the poetry of Keats and Dante, to sustain her on a lifelong and exhilarating march 'Up-Hill'. In both prose and poetry, she invites the reader to engage with a sophisticated network of biblical allusion, in which Christian doctrine is re-thought and sometimes re-forged. Unless we take this invitation seriously, we will not take the true measure of Rossetti.

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