The text is accompanied by both explanatory annotations and textual notes. "Backgrounds and Contexts" includes thirty letters or letter excerpts by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning that trace Aurora Leigh's inception, evolution, and publication. Seven contemporary documents-on the "woman question," prostitution, socialism, and poetic theory-place the text historically. "Criticism" collects twenty-five assessments of Aurora Leigh from the period 1899-1993. A wide range of opinion is provided by George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Ellen Moers, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Angela Leighton, Deirdre David, Dorothy Mermin, and Margaret Reynolds, among others. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.
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Author Biography - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime. Margaret Reynolds is Lecturer in English at the University of Birmingham. She is the editor of the variorum Aurora Leigh (Ohio University Press, 1992), Erotica (Pandora and Ballantine, 1990), and The Penguin Book of Lesbian Short Stories (1994). She is co-editor (with Angela Leighton) of Victorian Women Poets: An Anthology (Basil Blackwell, 1995). She is currently at work on Sappho's Companions.