It is widely believed that Christina Rossetti had lesbian inclinations, although it is unclear whether she ever acted on them.
In several places, I have seen references to the fact that her brother, William Michael Rossetti, destroyed a handful of her poems after her death because they were love poems written to women. For example, the essay "The Suppression of Lesbian and Gay History,” by Rictor Norton, claims that
When Christina Rossetti’s brother edited her poetry for publication, he apparently destroyed some half-dozen of her poems, not because they were explicitly ‘erotic’, but simply because they were love poems addressed to women.
and a snippet view from Google books: The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Women Poets by Jeni Couzyn (1985):
When he edited her collected poems, it is significant that her brother William Michael Rossetti extracted from the work half a dozen poems which, from their titles, appear to have been love poems addressed directly to women.
However, I can't find any solid reference for this fact, and Rictor Norton doesn't explain where he learned this fact, or give any explicit references.
What is the evidence that this actually happened, if there is any? What were the titles of these poems? And if there is no such evidence, who was the first person to describe this “event”?
William Michael Rossetti may actually admit to doing something like this in the introduction to the posthumous collection, New Poems by Christina Rossetti. He says
I have reprinted everything by my sister which I find already published, not in volume form. I omit the more unsuccessful items in her early book of Verses and I omit also a certain — not large — number of compositions in MS., whether in the notebooks or otherwise, which appear to me to represent her less than well.
But the quotes I found are oddly much more specific than this — they say that half a dozen poems which were love poems addressed to other women were omitted, and imply that their titles are known.