1. Victorian romantics of an imagist/allegorical/symbolic cast (of the Romantics, they especially admired Keats, Shelley, Coleridge, Blake, and Leigh Hunt

2. Assumed organic relationship of arts, especially painting, decorative artwork, and music—their poetry is pictorial and musical, the prose symbolic, given to word painting

3. Appropriated non-Victorian traditions:

Medieval—Arthurian, Dantean, Scandinavian
Renaissance England and Europe—sonnet tradition
Italian, Old Norse, French, Near-Eastern as well as classical
Religious traditions secularized, or at least used for non-religious ends

These efforts permitted greater cosmopolitanism, critique of own culture
Translations (Rossetti and Morris); travel accounts (Hunt and Morris)
Ballad traditions, refrains

4. Allegiance to art as a value as opposed to commercial excess, despite the fact that all were skilled presenters of their works and attuned to the world of publishing and art markets (CR, DGR, WM); art used as vantage point for critique and reformist efforts, e. g. “The Burden of Nineveh,” Morris’s socialist chants amd “Message of the March Wind,” Christina Rossetti’s work on behalf of “fallen” women

5. Anti-realist, anti-didactic (ethics implied in tales—should show but not tell—anticipates aestheticism, fin de siècle symbolism)

“art for art’s sake” only in broader meaning of art; a self-conscious avant garde, who conceived of themselves as oppositional: opposed to sexual repression and social conventions, and in some cases expressed political opposition to government policies

6. Populist elements—choice of ballads and folk motifs, children’s rhymes, lyrics, chants for socialists.

Concerned with arts of daily life: book design, clothing design, furnishings and textiles, stained glass, picture frames, illustrations, murals. Their politics when expressed was reformist or democratic, and mostly anti-imperialist and a-imperialist.

7. Elements of collaboration—even in CR, collaboration with siblings; illustrators, Germ; Rossetti and Morris collaborated in the Germ and Oxford and Cambridge Magazine respectively, as well and Morris and Co.; Morris repeatedly engaged in collaborative ventures, Morris and Co., translations, Kelmscott Press

8. Recasting of religious rituals or language for serious, often non-orthodox ends (DGR’s “The House of Life”); felt need to assert the relationship of body and spirit in a materialist age (WM’s “Love Is Enough”)

9. All publish in multiple formats—periodicals, serial forms, illustrated texts, picture-poems or “dual” artwork, mixed generic works  (CR and WM embedded songs or lyrics in prose)