Siddall, Elizabeth

Siddall, Elizabeth (1829 - 1862)


Elizabeth Siddal(l) was born on July 25, 1829, in Holborn, London, the child of Charles Crooke Siddall and Elizabeth Elenor Evans Siddall. She had a very ordinary upbringing, distinguished only by her personal beauty, but it was enough. She caught the eye of a pre-Raphaelite painter, Walter Howell Deverell, as she worked in a bonnet store in Cranbourne Alley, London. In time, she modelled for Deverell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, and William Holman Hunt, then became Rossetti's mistress, and by 1852 began painting for herself and won the financial support of John Ruskin. Illness then struck, leading her to stop painting, and her engagement with Rossetti fell away in 1858. She sought him out again several years later, however, and they were wed on May 23, 1860, at St. Clement's Church, Hastings, and honeymooned in Paris and Boulogne. Their daughter was stillborn on May 2, 1861, and Elizabeth committed suicide by opium overdose on February 11, 1862. Rossetti placed a manuscript of poems in her coffin. Elizabeth's brother-in-law William Michael Rossetti had printed all fifteen of her poems piecemeal by 1906. They were largely ignored until Roger C. Lewis and Mark Samuels Lasner collected her works and published them in 1978.


  • Rossetti, William Michael. Dante Gabriel Rossetti: his Family-letters, with a Memoir by William Michael Rossetti. London: Ellis and Elvey, 1895. 2 vols. PR 5246 A4 1895 Robarts Library
  • --. Some Reminiscences. New York: Scribner, 1906. 2 vols. PR 5249 R2A8 Robarts Library
  • Marsh, Jan. The Legend of Elizabeth Siddal. London: Quartet, 1989.
  • Rossetti, William Michael. "Dante Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal." Burlington Magazine (1903).
  • Siddal, Elizabeth. He & She & Angels three: three poems. London: E. and J. Stevens, 1979. pam 04804 Fisher Rare Book Library
  • --. Poems and Drawings of Elizabeth Siddal. Ed. Roger C. Lewis and Mark Samuels Lasner. Wolfville, N.S.: Wombat Press, 1978. B-11 5641 Fisher Rare Books Library
  • Surtees, Virginia. Rossetti's Portraits of Elizabeth Siddal: A Catalogue of the Drawings and Watercolours. Aldershot, Hants: Solar Press in association with Ashmolean Museum, 1991. NC 242 .R64A4 1991 Robarts Library
  • --. "Siddal, Elizabeth Eleanor (1829–1862)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.
  • Womack, Whitney A. "Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal." In Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 199: Victorian Women Poets. Ed. William B. Thesing. The Gale Group, 1999. 269-77.
Given Name
Family Name
Birth Date
July 25, 1829
Death Date
February 11, 1862
Family Relations
wife : Dante Gabriel Rossetti (from 23 May. 1860)
father : Charles Crooke Siddall
mother : Elizabeth Elenor Evans Siddall
  • Store clerk

Literary Period
Literary Movement
Cause of Death
First RPO Edition