Note 7, Chapter 4 of the author's Christina Rossetti in Context which the University of North Carolina Press published in 1988. It appears in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.
Both Dante Rossetti and Swinburne did, of course, write a good deal of poetry with explicit moral and political themes. Rossetti's "The Burden of Nineveh" and "Jenny" are such poems, and political verse dominates Swinburne's two volumes of the early 1870s, Songs Before Sunrise and Songs of Two Nations. On Rossetti's political poetry, see Bentley, "Political Themes in the Work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti." However, even such works by Swinburne and Rossetti generally "aestheticize" their moral and political themes by presenting them statically, as matter for abstract contemplation rather than action.
Last modified 24 June 2007