Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




This study offers an explanation of the structure of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's The House of Life. It does not attempt to elevate Rossetti to a new position of pre-eminence among the Victorians or to make extravagant claims for h1s genius. What it tries to provide is a descriptive analysis or the poems taken together as a unit of meaning. No effort has been made to deal adequately with Rossetti's biography nor his output in the realm of painting. While these matters certainly have an important place in Rossetti studies, there is also a place for an intensive study of the poems as a body of work with a uniquely shaped content. Too often Rossetti has been relegated to the role of historical curiosity, either as an exemplar of Pre-Raphaelitism or as a precursor of the aesthetic movement associated with Pater and Wilde. These concerns are valid insofar as they make a point about literary history, the problem is that such views often obscure the peculiar nature of Rossetti's method and his imaginative construction of the world.