Imagining Faith: Earth and Heaven in The Face of the Deep

  • Dinah Roe


The passage of time, or, more precisely, the end of time, is confronted in Rossetti’s final devotional prose work, The Face of the Deep: A Devotional Commentary on the Apocalypse. Published in 1892, when the author was in her sixties, it contains a prose passage and / or a poem for each chapter and verse of Revelation. More dense, and more challenging a read than Time Flies, it is a comprehensive study of the final book of the Bible. ‘Believe me,’ writes a modern collector, ‘it [The Face of the Deep] is not a book that one would want to curl up with on a rainy night — or any night for that matter’.1


Prose Passage Biblical Text Christian Woman Human Love Unmanageable Area 
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  1. 1.
    Frederick E. Maser, Christina Rossetti in the Maser Collection, with essays by Mary Louise Jarden and Frederick E. Maser, foreward by James Tanis (Bryn Mawr College Library, 1991), p. 20.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    A. Smellie, ‘Christina Rossetti and Her Message’, Wesleyan Methodist Magazine 118 (1885) 203–6, quoted in Christina Rossetti: Critical Perspectives, 1862–1982, ed. Edna Kotin Charles (London: Associated University Press, 1985), p. 23.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Colleen Hobbs, ‘A View from “The Lowest Place”: Christina Rossetti’s Devotional Prose’, Victorian Poetry 32 (autumn-winter, 1994) 411.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    Mary Arseneau and Jan Marsh, ‘Intertextuality and Intratextuality: The Full Text of Christina Rossetti’s “Harmony on First Corinthians XIII” Rediscovered’, The Victorian Newsletter 88 (fall 1995) 20.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    Robert M. Kachur, ‘Repositioning the Female Christian Reader: Christina Rossetti as Tractarian Hermeneut in The Face of the Deep’, Victorian Poetry 35, no. 2 (summer 1997) 3.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    Joel Westerholm, ‘“I Magnify Mine Office”: Christina Rossetti’s Authoritative Voice in her Devotional Prose’, Victorian Newsletter 84 (fall 1993) 14.Google Scholar
  7. 20.
    Helen Michie, The Flesh Made World: Female Figures and Women’s Bodies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 87.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dinah Roe 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dinah Roe

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