From 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.

My greatest debt in writing this book is to Jerome J. McGann, who initially stimulated my interest in the Pre-Raphaelite poets and who has been a constant source of ideas and asslstance of all kinds. Jerome Bump, William Fredeman, David Kent, and George Tennyson read the manuscript in earlier versions. Its present content, I hope, reflects the influence of their keen perceptions. Portions of the manuscript were discussed by members of the Literary Criticism seminar at the National Humanities Center in 1981-82. Their suggestions for improvements have been helpful. To Marcia Colish, John Hodgson, Benjamin Hrushovski, Stephen Marcus, and Anna Nardo I am especially grateful for useful criticisms. I am indebted to the National Humanities Center for providing ideal research facilities and release time from my normal teaching duties. I would also like to thank my students George Cox, Tamyra Davis, Dana Dewit, Robin Parsons, Muri Pugh, Betsy Rowland, and David Teal for asking dependably provocative questions about Victorian poetry and for working assiduously to answer them. Sandra Eisdorfer and Pamela Upton of the UNC Press have been model editors-hard-working, efficient, perceptive, thoughful in all matters. I cannot adequately thank them for their helpfulness. Chapter I appeared in different form as "Christina Rossetti: The Poetic Vocation" in Texas Studies in Literature and Language (1985), and I am grateful to the editors for permission to reprint portions of that article. Unpublished letters by Christina Rossetti appear with the permission of the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Princeton University Library, and the Yale University Library. I regret that Dolores Rosenblum's Christina Rossetti: The Poetry of Endurance appeared too late for me to benefit from it in the writing of this book.


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