Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Krueger, Christine L.

Second Advisor

Ratcliffe, Krista

Third Advisor

Block, Edwin F.


I came to this project, and to Dante Gabriel Rossetti generally, uniquely sensitized to concerns of gender, to marginal cultural constructions of masculinity in particular. Personally, emotionally, I read Rossetti through my own years of gender marginalization, as a gay man who grew up deeply closeted in the rural provincial West. And intellectually, as a scholar, I read Rossetti through the critical lenses provided by Dr. Christine L. Krueger in such courses as "Gender and the Study of Nineteenth-Century British Literature." That very first semester, I wrote a seminar paper on the historical, gender-based criticism which had greeted Tennyson, and it was in illustration's of Tennyson's "Lady of Shalott" that I first took notice of the Pre-Raphaelites. That semester, too, I first encountered the critical term "effeminacy" in its mid-Victorian context, an encounter that disturbed, puzzled, and ultimately intrigued me. And it has been this same half-visceral/half-intellectual response which has motivated this project from the beginning. As the historical and cultural focus of first three chapters will make clear, this project is expansive. It aims to recover nothing less than both the ideological context and content of Rossetti's work, his literary texts in particular.



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