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Aurora Leigh: What the Heart Knows

Overview

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's longpoem Aurora Leigh is a drama of love and ideas in an era shaken by revolutions and progressive programs. Her headstrong heroine makes her way without her cousin's help, refusing his offer of marriage to stake our her own career. Yet their stories intertwine with other characters, efforts to better the world that come crashing down, miscommunications, until they both individually undergo changes of heart that allow for what we presume is to be a happy ending on a rather high level....
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Overview

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's longpoem Aurora Leigh is a drama of love and ideas in an era shaken by revolutions and progressive programs. Her headstrong heroine makes her way without her cousin's help, refusing his offer of marriage to stake our her own career. Yet their stories intertwine with other characters, efforts to better the world that come crashing down, miscommunications, until they both individually undergo changes of heart that allow for what we presume is to be a happy ending on a rather high level. Is it a poem? Is it a drama? It's a compelling story of women claiming more than men had traditionally allowed, and proving their worth. Aurora Leigh is one of the last works that E.B.B. completed before her death at age 55. In her life, she had been nominated to be Poet Laureate of Britain, but that was not to be. This is a book of ideas, and discoveries of what love really is.
Another book that explores the indomitable energy of a young girl becoming a woman is Charlotte Perkins Gilman's semi-autobiographical novel Benigna Machiavelli (www.createspace.com/4264375). The girl determines that villains are the interesting characters who get things done, so she decides to be a "good villain."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780942208627
  • Publisher: Bandanna Books
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in 1806 in northern England in an estate house, the firstborn child. When she was three, the family moved to Herefordshire, near Wales, to Hope End, a smaller house in a family that grew to be eleven children..
An early reader, she was given permission to browse in her father's library, and by 14 she was a published poet. At 22, her mother died, and four years later, when her father was forced to sell Hope End, they all moved to London.
At 32, she did inherit enough to live on, a bequest from her Uncle Samuel Barrett.
Her own health had not been good for years, though she persevered with poetry, attaining acclaim at age 38, which led to letters exchanged with Robert Browning, a younger and still struggling poet. She encouraged him when critics panned a work of his, and two years later they secretly married and left for Italy. For her this was an important act of self-expression against her father's forbidding, knowing that this would cut her off from any inheritance.
Thriving in this new environment, she began traveling, and at the age of 43 had a child, Robert Barrett Browning. The same year, she was nominated (but did not achieve) the title of Poet Laureate of England.
All these sites play a part in Aurora Leigh, as well as her passion for poetry, which is a central theme of the book.
She died at 55 years of age, one year after the publication of Aurora Leigh.
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