2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

A Nameless Girl: Elizabeth Siddal, Model and Poet
Maggie E. Mayhan
Dr. Dennis Leavens, Faculty Mentor

This paper begins by examining Christina Rossetti’s “In an Artist’s Studio” in which she simultaneously recognizes and attacks the dizzying fascination with image, the obsession for visual satisfaction that compels artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti to manipulate his model Elizabeth Siddal, shaping her into a pair of eyes, a nameless girl without a voice. The paper then explores Siddal’s poem “The Lust of the Eyes” in which she dwells on the devouring nature of image and its intoxicating aesthetics. An examination of Siddal’s fame as a face and her relative silence as poet follow. Does she voice her own fate in her work? My presentation will include images of Siddal on transparencies and readings of both Rossetti’s and Siddal’s poems.

Keywords: artist, Pre-Raphaelite women, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal, image

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 46-5
Location: VH 1320
Time: 4:45

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