Christina Rossetti - Educated at home, met many artists and scholars. Father was seriously ill and had to give up his teaching job. She had a nervous break down at 14 and suffered from depression. Volunteered at a charity for fallen women.
(Ideas about the shame or who the corpse is. Quite simply it could be an illict relationship with a lover. OR. Could the corpse be the father, the affair broke the father's heart. OR. We never know exactly who the narrator is so is the narrator also a male and so the shame makes more sense. This also links in with Rossetti's personal life with fallen women.)
Who told my mother of my shame,
Who told my father of my dear?
Rhetorical question used to accuse not to ask.
Oh who but Maude, my sister Maude,
Who lurked to spy and peer.
Sister Maude is the only name we recesive in the poem. The name means a powerful battler. The caesura 'Maude,' reflects the feeling of the narator. 'spy' 'peer' very negative language.