“…Aurora Leigh, first published in 1856, has been expertly edited by Margaret Reynolds…It is beautifully and generously set out…It should be a compulsory purchase for all academic libraries, although Barrett Browning specialists and feminist scholars will undoubtedly want to invest in a copy of their own.”
Catherine Maxwell, Review of English Studies
“Profound thanks from students and scholars of the works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning are due to Margaret Reynolds for her impressive critical and annotated edition of Aurora Leigh.”
Corinne Bieman Davies, Dalhousie Review
“Margaret Reynolds’s long-awaited edition of Aurora Leigh lives up to expectations. It is a superb piece of work; meticulous in its editorial scholarship, thorough and helpful in its annotations, and with a closely argued introduction which takes issue with received readings whether they date from the poem’s time or ours. Reynolds’s work will be the standard edition for many years, and deserves to be the centrepiece of a complete critical edition of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poems.”
Daniel Karlin, Times Literary Supplement
Widely regarded as Barrett Browning’s major work, Aurora Leigh is important both for its address to contemporary social issues, the “woman question” in particular, and for its bold experimentation with poetic form. Since 1979 it has held its place in the canon as “the feminist poem” (Ellen Moers), yet, until now, no reliable edition of the work has been available.
The text of this edition is based upon meticulous examination of the extant manuscripts, corrected proofs and revision to the poem. It is accompanied by a full textual history of the poem’s composition and publication, a comprehensive annotation of literary allusions and contemporary reference, and a new and closely argued essay on the significance of the verse-novel as an early example of politically self-conscious women’s writing/
This authoritative edition of Aurora Leigh provides a text and apparatus designed to combat conventional notions of women’s poetry as “instinctive” improvisation. It argues for the verse-novel as a poem which offers both the excitement of intellectual experimentation and the powerful engagement of a judicious political passion. The arrival of this edition should be of great interest and use to students of nineteenth-century studies and feminist scholars alike.
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