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Rossetti, Christina

(1830 -1894)



The poetess spent five weeks in Westcliff Bungalow at Birchington, ‘a large, one-storeyed commodious residence‘,where she, her mother and a number of friends cared for her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti in his final illness. After his death on 9th April 1882, she wrote a sonnet evoking the setting of his grave. She and her mother returned to Birchington in the summers of 1883 and 1884 to oversee arrangements for the cross and memorial window. Her immediate grief having lessened, she was able to appreciate the benefits of the seaside : ‘Except perhaps mountain air, I don’t know that I ever was in what seemed to me air more salubrious than this.’ On her last visit she was very impressed by the completed grave-cross – ‘very fine‘- but less so by their lodgings at 6 Station Road, which they exchanged for more acceptable ones at number 5.


Birchington Churchyard

A lowly hill which overlooks a flat ,
Half sea, half country-side ;
A flat-shored sea of low-voiced creeping tide
Over a chalky weedy mat.

A hill of hillocks, flowery and kept green
Round crosses raised for hope,
With many-tinted sunsets where the slope
Faces the lingering western sheen.




After his death on 9th April 1882, she wrote a sonnet evoking the setting of his grave...

Herne Bay

Thirty years later, she visited Herne Bay lending library to find reading material to distract her bored and depressed brother, the poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, convalescing in the care of his sister and mother at nearby Hunters Forstal...

Hunters Forstal




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