Distraught at the premature death of his wife Elizabeth Siddal, who died of an overdose of laudanum, Rossetti buried his poetry manuscripts with her, and repeatedly tried to contact her in séances. The Beata Beatrix portraits were done in her memory. One night, seven years after Lizzie was buried, Rossetti had the body secretly disinterred to recover the poems. The remarkable preservation of Lizzie's body and her golden hair, seemingly longer than ever, are said to have influenced Bram Stoker's story, The Secret of the Growing Gold, as well as the description of Lucy Westenra in Dracula. Perhaps unnerved by the experience, although he was not at the grave side, Rossetti refused to be buried near Lizzie.
death, Rossetti and his brother William shared a house with
George Meredith and Algernon
Swinburne whose poem A Death on Easter
Day, was written about him:
Curiously, Swinburne died on the same day (April 10), though several years later.
Jane Morris, the wife of his friend William Morris, frequently modelled for Rossetti, and he was having an affair with her at the time of his wife's death. Morris was sympathetic, and for a time they lived together at Kelmscott Manor.
Rossetti's best known poem, The Blessed Damozel, is said to have been inspired by Poe's, The Raven.
This passage from The Orchard Pit seems to recall Shelley's hallucinations (which might have been familiar to Rossetti from his uncle's journals):
in my dreams is shown me; and her hair