Poet Christina Rossetti was the sister of writer Michael William Rossetti and of painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Rossetti's uncle, John Polidori, was the author of The Vampyre, a work which may have influenced her poem Goblin Market. Rossetti was fascinated by the gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe and had intended to write her biography. She only gave up this plan when she discovered how little material was available. Rossetti's poems were published in the Pre-Raphaelite journal the Germ, and she sat for a number of paintings by the group.

The Rossettis were friends with Lewis Carroll, and his dream books were an influence on Christina's. Carroll was a gifted photographer in the early days of the art, an interest shared by Rossetti and Morris.

She clipped a precious golden lock,
She dropped a tear more rare than pearl,
Then sucked their fruit globes fair or red:
Sweeter than honey from the rock,
Stronger than man-rejoicing wine,
Clearer than water flowed that juice;
She never tasted such before,
How should it cloy with length of use?
She sucked and sucked and sucked the more
Fruits which that unknown orchard bore,
She sucked until her lips were sore;
Then flung the emptied rinds away,
But gathered up one kernel stone,
And knew not was it night or day
As she turned home alone.

from Goblin Market

Gothic Labyrinth
Gothic Labyrinth