The Rossetti Diaries


Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.54 inches | 0.78 pounds

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About the Author

Kathleen Williams Renk taught British and Women's literature for nearly three decades in the United States and abroad. Renk studied fiction writing at the University of Iowa with Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Alan MacPherson. Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Iowa City Magazine, Literary Yard, Page and Spine, and CC & D Magazine. Vindicated is her first novel.


"Kathleen Renk takes us beyond Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," to Victorian England and into the imagined lives of women on the periphery of artistic greatness by association with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood whose careers eclipsed their own. The lover and the sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Lizzie Siddall and Christina Rossetti, reveal in diary entries over a century after their death their profound commitment to their own painting and poetry, respectively, along with the immense challenges in being taken seriously as artists and independent thinkers. But one of the most distinct pleasures of the novel was encountering familiar poems of Christina Rossetti resonating with the author's biographical interpretation, which renders them newly, heart-achingly, accessible. Siddall and Rossetti paid a steep price for daring to live on their own terms as artists and friends; but despite the inevitable tragedy, these are women we should see more of in narrative, women who defined themselves not through men but through their art." - Carol Roh Spaulding, author of Helen Button, A novel

"Poet Christina Rossetti and artist/enigma Elizabeth Siddal step right out of the mid-19th century and into the 21st as Maggie, a historian with artistic longings of her own, finds and reads their diaries, which have been locked away in a dusty chest in the crypts beneath St. Clement's Church. The heartfelt pages of the diaries-imagined into being by Kathleen Renk in her latest novel-bring Rossetti and Siddal to vivid life, recreating their voices to give readers a "behind-the-scenes" experience of the art created by two extraordinary women and the struggles they faced as artists and as women in the Victorian age. Though based on the works of both women and tracing the paths of their lives, Renk's novel takes us beyond the history she knows so well to tantalize the reader with what might have been." - Mary Helen Stefaniak, award-winning author of The World of Pondside and The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia

"While gradually revealing the lives and love of Pre-Raphaelite poets and painters Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal, this engaging dual-time novel raises timeless questions about money, talent, inequality, and the power of sisterhood. It's a mystery, a romance, and a window onto a little-known sector of Victorian society, all in one." - C. P. Lesley, host of New Books in Historical Fiction

"The Rossetti Diaries explores the indomitable artistic aspirations and achievements of the poet Christina Rossetti and the artist Elizabeth Siddal, her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti's, model and eventual wife. At the engaging heart of the novel lies the tormented relationship of Siddal with Gabriel Rossetti and her struggle to realize her creative gifts." - Mary Martin Devlin, author of The La Motte Woman