Christina Rossetti was in a sense the first poet of the Pre-Raphelites, her Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862) having been - as if by accident - the writing from that group which first caught public attention. It contains many of her best poems. Later work - devotional poems, love lyrics and descriptive pieces - extended the themes and forms of her first remarkable collection. It is remarkable, but in a quiet and intense way, not in the manner of those who seem to have learned from her among her contemporaries. Ford Madox Ford, who had a subtle ear for the unemphatic excellence of the 19th-century writers, called her the most valuable poet that the Victorian age produced. Her modern admirers are many, especially among the poets. Philip Larkin speaks of her poetry as unequalled for its objective expression of happiness denied and a certain unfamiliar steely stoicism.
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