The Price of Redemption in “Goblin Market”

“The Price of Redemption in ‘Goblin Market’” argues that recent readings of commerce in Rossetti’s poem actually obscure the economic strategies of Lizzie’s successful rescue mission. While this mission and the silver penny that underwrites it seem to rely on the goblins’ market economy, the interpretive payoff of her transaction increases when we shift our focus to traditions of gift exchange. As part of the poem’s larger service economy, Lizzie’s coin has significance as the currency of Christian ritual and Victorian fairy tales.