The poems of Elizabeth Siddal in context

By Anne Woolley

The poems of Elizabeth Siddal in context


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4386-0
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: March 2021
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900, Literature, LITERARY CRITICISM / Women Authors, LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 19th Century, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism
  • Series: Interventions: Rethinking the Nineteenth Century


A ground breaking new book that considers all Siddal poems with reference to female and primarily male counterparts, adding substantially to knowledge of her work as a writer, and their shared contemporary concerns. Dante Rossetti, Swinburne, Tennyson, Ruskin and Keats were either known to her or a source of influence on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with which she was associated, and certain of their texts are compared with hers to discuss interplay between erotic and spiritual love, the ballad tradition, nineteenth-century feminism, and the Romantic concept of the conjoined physical and spectral body. Siddal's artwork is used to introduce each chapter, while other Pre-Raphaelite paintings illuminate the texts and further the inter-disciplinary philosophy of the Brotherhood. This important and stimulating book focuses on the intrinsic merit of Siddal's poetics whilst advocating a research method that could have multiple applications elsewhere.


'Woolley robustly engages with Siddal's strange, intense lyrical ballads...'
The Critic


Introduction: Siddal, Christina Rossetti and the literary context
1 Siddal, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the duality of love
2 Siddal, Swinburne and the ballad tradition
3 Siddal, Tennyson, Ruskin and the feminist question
4 Siddal, Keats and Pre-Raphaelite relations of power
Conclusion: Contextualising Elizabeth Siddal


Anne Woolley is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Humanities at Keele University

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