The author takes Christina Rossetti's intertextuality as his main theme, in a more rigorously theorised and detailed study of the Monna Innominata sonnet sequence, and its relations to the Petrarchian and Dantean traditions. The author differs by reading Rossetti's revisions of the tradition as relating also to social reality: an assumption basic to all the feminist critics who use intertextual comparisons. As self-appointed heirs of the Romantics, the Pre-Raphaelite poets, including Rossetti, display in their works an extraordinary degree of historical self-consciousness. A. C. Swinburne, who greatly admired the Monna Innominata, had since 1866 sent Christina Rossetti copies of nearly all his volumes of poetry. Many of his poems are richly and complexly intertextual and parodic. In its complex relations with the text of the Monna Innominata, the literary genealogy that prefaces the poem illuminates the values, patterns of meaning, and origins of many poems by Christina Rossetti.