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Aurora Leigh and Other Poems

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Aurora Leigh (1856), Elizabeth Barrett Browning's epic novel in blank verse, tells the story of the making of a woman poet, exploring 'the woman question', art and its relation to politics and social oppression. The texts in this selection are based in the main on the earliest printed versions of the poems. What Edgar Allan Poe called 'her wild and magnificent genius' is a ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published July 27th 1995 by Penguin Classics (first published 1856)
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Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Firstly, I only read Aurora Leigh, not the additional pieces in the book.

EBB begins Aurora Leigh with the posit that epic poetry isn't dead. While I (a) agree that epic poetry is still wonderful to read and (b) see how the form of poetry allowed her to be more emotive than prose might, I have to say that I think the experiment is a failure. Epic poetry is given to action - to battles, hero racing against foe, to Odysseus and Beowulf. It's not given to modern stories like Aurora Leigh, and in particul
Vicky Hunt
I've always loved her sonnets, but some of her 'other' works are just as beautiful. We easily see professions of affection as love, but EBB's ideas of social change embody her poetry as much as that. The feeling in her poems about the evils of slavery, the ragged children of the poor, and other social problems easily reflect the poetic spirit.

I find myself disagreeing with her idea that poets should stick with the present world, rather than writing of 'castles and kings.' When we read or write
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Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was only assigned to read Aurora Leigh for class, but I hope to go back and read the other poems sometime in the future.
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Aurora Leigh, but was not so keen on some of the other poems. All the same, it's not what I expected and definitely worth reading. From the point of view of study, the notes were pretty helpful too.
May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I think the story is somewhat autobiographical. Both an interesting story and a beautiful read.
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Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most respected poets of the Victorian era.

Born in County Durham, the eldest of 12 children, Browning was educated at home. She wrote poetry from around the age of six and this was compiled by her mother, comprising what is now one of the largest collections extant of juvenilia by any English writer. At 15 Browning became ill, suffering from int
“O Life,
How oft we throw it off and think, — 'Enough,
Enough of life in so much! — here's a cause
For rupture; — herein we must break with Life,
Or be ourselves unworthy; here we are wronged,
Maimed, spoiled for aspiration: farewell Life!'
— And so, as froward babes, we hide our eyes
And think all ended. — Then, Life calls to us
In some transformed, apocryphal, new voice,
Above us, or below us, or around . .
Perhaps we name it Nature's voice, or Love's,
Tricking ourselves, because we are more ashamed
To own our compensations than our griefs:
Still, Life's voice! — still, we make our peace with Life.”
“A harmless life, she called a virtuous life,
A quiet life, which was not life at all . . .”
More quotes…