Elizabeth Siddal: Personal Life Siddal and Rossetti

Handwriting Analysis of Lizzie Siddal & Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Author Jack  Challem, who was kind enough to share his photo of Lizzie’s grave, has also been gracious enough to mail me an article he co-wrote for The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies in 1987. This is an analysis of the handwriting of both Elizabeth Siddal and her husband, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Thank you Jack. It …

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Elizabeth Siddal and the Pre-Raphaelites Elizabeth Siddal: Personal Life

Elizabeth Siddal: Creator and Created

Alice Jardine’s influential book Gynesis: Configurations of Women and Modernity describes Jardine’s theory of the process through which a woman is created “ by patriarchy, by history or by the culture she inhabits. Rather than focusing on representations of women in literature or literature written by women, she states in the introduction to her book that she is concerned about the process of (reading and writing) woman (Jardine 19). In other words, she examines the transformation of the feminine from subject into verb, an operation that renders her liminal and ephemeral and puts her and her obligatory, that is, historical connotations to use as intrinsic to new and necessary modes of thinking, writing and speaking (Jardine 25). Gynesis is the term Jardine coins to describe this undertaking.
By definition, such a scheme must have the effect of stripping women of their own agency. As results of a process, they cannot be subjects, only objects, and as such they cannot create but can only facilitate creation. If a woman does attempt to create, as Nancy K. Miller states in “Arachnologies: The Woman, the Text and the Critic, patriarchy will view her product as separate from her and will deny her authority over her own production.

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