Goblin Market and Other Poems, Cover Design
Cover design for Goblin Market and Other Poems


Dante Gabriel Rossetti's cover design for his sister Christina Georgina Rossetti's Goblin Market and Other Poems  was highly unusual in 1862, when covers tended to be ornate. In contrast, his elegant design in gold on dark blue cloth boards is composed of simple horizontal and vertical lines ornamented with a motif of three circles. The triangle of circles is repeated in the pattern on Laura's dress in the book's frontispiece, "Buy from us with a golden curl," while the linear rules are recalled in the border around the title-page vignette, "Golden head by golden head." The unity of design DGR provided for his sister's book was much admired by the next generation of artists. Following DGR's lead, Laurence Housman and Charles Ricketts worked to design the book as a whole work of art, integrated by an aesthetic vision linking material form and visual/verbal content. But some of DGR's contemporaries in the 1860s also admired his designing hand. Notably,  the author of the Alice books, Charles Luttwidge Dodgson  (Lewis Carroll), asked his publisher, Alexander Macmillan, to take DGR's book designs as a model for his own Phantasmagoria (1869). Carroll was acquainted with the Rossettis and photographed Christina, Dante Gabriel, and other members of the family in Dante Gabriel's back garden at 16 Cheyne Walk, in London. A founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite movement dedicated to the linking of literature and art,  Dante Gabriel Rossetti had a formative influence on the development of illustrated books in the second half of the nineteenth century. 

Associated Place(s)

Timeline of Events Associated with Goblin Market and Other Poems, Cover Design


  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Image Date: 

Mar 1862