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Aurora Leigh and Other Poems (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Elizabeth Browning
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 July 1995 Penguin Classics
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 abundantly in evidence. In addition to Aurora Leigh, this volume contains poetry from the several volumes of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's published poetry from 1826 to 1862, including Casa Guidi Windows (1851), Songs for the Ragged Schools of London (1854) and the British Library manuscript text of the 'Sonnets from the Portuguese' (1846) which records her courtship with Robert Browning.

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Aurora Leigh and Other Poems (Penguin Classics) + She (Oxford World's Classics) + Lady Audley's Secret (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (27 July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140434127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140434125
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 12.9 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description


"Her ardour and abundance, her brilliant descriptive powers, her shrewd and caustic humour infect us with her own enthusiasm. We laugh, we protest, we complain - it is absurd, it is impossible, we cannot tolerate this exaggeration a moment longer - but, nevertheless, we read to the end enthralled. What more can an author ask?" --Virginia Woolf

About the Author

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) - née Barrett English poet, the wife of Robert Browning, the most respected and successful woman poet of the Victorian period.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Of writing many books there is no end; And I who have written much in prose and verse For others' uses, will write now for mine,- Will write my story for my better self, As when you paint your portrait for a friend, Who keeps it in a drawer and looks at it Long after he has ceased to love you, just To hold together what he was and is. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A greatly undervalued work by Barrett Browning 8 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Elizabeth Barrett Browning doesn't seem to be generally known anymore as the writer of Aurora Leigh, which really is a shame. When you first start reading it, it may take a bit of getting used to, but don't be put off by the fact that it is in verse rather than prose. It is worth reading for the story alone, and there are parts of it that are really beautiful. There is so much in it about writing, and the role of women in Victorian society - but that aside, it is just a very good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Aurora Leigh 26 Jun 2014
By Jan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A wonderful collection of poems featuring Aurora Leigh, which is one of my favourites. Used this as a reference book for a lecture.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you buy! 23 Dec 2013
By K. M. Norwood - Published on
Amazon often does a poor job of differentiating between properly edited texts and garbage. The hard copy from Penguin is surely fine, but I have ordered a cheap Kindle edition of another book (Marx's Capital) allegedly from Penguin that was full of typos. I'd trust the hard copy of this but be wary of Kindle versions, or at least look at a sample before you buy.
5.0 out of 5 stars "This is soul, this is life, this word is being said in heaven ..." 21 Mar 2014
By William Timothy Lukeman - Published on
While I've reviewed a different edition of just "Aurora Leigh" previously, this volume containing not only the book-length novel-in-blank-verse but a generous selection of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's other poems, including the full "Sonnets from the Portuguese" sequence, is perfect for any reader who wants to explore this superb writer's oeuvre in depth.

"Aurora Leigh" remains immensely readable, with a strong, intelligent narrator who knows what she wants & refuses to settle for the sedate roles reserved for genteel, well-read women of her time. It's a romance, a Bildungsroman, a novel of ideas & philosophy; and it moves with the fluid grace & momentum of a fine film, replete with sparkling wit & well-matched adversaries/lovers. I've read it more than once & constantly find new delights in its supple, finely-crafted lines. The poem & the character both deserve to be better known.

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." Who doesn't know this line? Yet so many people have never gone beyond that single sonnet to savor the entire sequence, which recounts & celebrates Robert Browning's courtship of Elizabeth Barrett, which ended in their elopement to Italy. For a passionate, precise examination of a woman's soul in the luxuriant throes of overpowering love, these sonnets have rarely been matched.

The other poems are a good sampling of the author's eye & ear as a poet. As with all her work, she combines her considerable intellect & education with intense emotion, striking just the right balance to make her poems breathe within their conventional late Victorian forms. There's nothing stodgy here! Life & feeling burn like the swiftly beating heart of a bird in these poems.

All in all, this volume is a powerful argument for the importance of Elizabeth Barrett Browning as a major poet, one who not only illuminates her own era, but whose voice speaks eloquently to the contemporary reader as well. It also offers nearly 50 pages of notes that add a good deal of context to the poems. For any devotee of English poetry, this volume is most highly recommended!
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An OCR abomination! 25 Jun 2011
By Alan P Barr - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This text is a fraud--in the sense that it does not match the Contents online. It is also without a Contents or Index, and is unreadable. Many of the lines of the poem are run together into long paragraphs. The title and advertized contents promise "Other Poems"; there are none.
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