Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Mini College Review: Christina Rossetti by Jan Marsh

Title: Christina Rossetti
Author: Jan Marsh
Format: Hardcover, 634 pages
Pub. Date: July 1st 1995
Source: Amazon

Book Description:

This absorbing biography recovers for readers the life of the author of "Goblin Market" and "My heart is singing like a bird", and shows that, far from being a pious and melancholy recluse, Rosetti was a complex and fascinating woman whose poetry is at last receiving the attention it deserves. Photos.



This is a book that I had to read for one of my poetry courses in college.

Christina Rossetti is one of my favorite poets. I've written on her a number of times, and I was really excited to have to read this. Don't waste your time.

It's really dragging, even for a memoir. It's over 600 pages, and it certainly doesn't need to be. Granted, there's some pages with photos on them, but that doesn't make up for the dry, student thesis paper type writing that this biography has.

It's also unreliable. The author goes out of her way to insert her own opinion, presented as fact. Such as, that Christina Rossetti had some intimate relations with a family member. There's no evidence of this. While it's acceptable to bring it up as a theory, or even to write a book about how you feel that's what her writing or actions in her life suggest, it's still not fact. Because she shows a bias to some theories and ideas and not others, it makes her an unreliable narrator, so I don't know if everything else in the book is accurate either.

Unless you have to read it for a class like I did, skip it. There's better books about her life.


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