Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning: A Creative Partnership

Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning: A Creative Partnership

by Mary Sanders Pollock
     
 

This volume, the first full-length comparative study of the Brownings' poetry since the early twentieth century, examines the creative partnership of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning through a critical analysis of the poems written by this famous couple during the sixteen-year period of their friendship, courtship, and marriage. First attracted to each other by… See more details below

Overview

This volume, the first full-length comparative study of the Brownings' poetry since the early twentieth century, examines the creative partnership of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning through a critical analysis of the poems written by this famous couple during the sixteen-year period of their friendship, courtship, and marriage. First attracted to each other by similarities in their poetry, the Brownings were both scholarly poets, and continually experimented with versification. Through their famous courtship correspondence of 1845-46, this cerebral attraction developed into creative exchange, erotic passion, and a reciprocal professional partnership. Pollock shows how, against the critical tide of the time, Elizabeth Barrett Browning became Robert Browning's most sympathetic reader and his most astute critic-and how in return, Robert Browning encouraged his wife to challenge the "poetess" stereotype by writing about the public sphere, and to risk critical censure by commenting honestly in her work about the real lives of men and women.

Even quite early in their relationship, the Brownings shared a frame of reference: similar themes, narrative structures, and details of phrasing resonate in their works and suggest dialogue, rather than merely mutual influence. Pollock traces parallels between the Brownings' lives and works even before they met, and then throughout their courtship and married life, suggesting that their creative dialogue continued after Barrett Browning died in 1861, as her presence and themes continued to inform Browning's poetry for at least a decade afterward.

This book will be of interest to scholars of 19th-century literature, as well as to those exploring the nature of close critical dialogue among working poets.


About the Author:
Mary Sanders Pollock is professor of English and director of the Women and Gender Studies Program at Stetson University, DeLand, Florida, USA.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780754633280
Publisher:
Ashgate Publishing, Limited
Publication date:
10/01/2003
Series:
The Nineteenth Century Series
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.41(h) x 1.10(d)

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Table of Contents

The Nineteenth Century General Editors Preface
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1Art and Inexperience: 1806-184416
2A Broken Poem: 1844-184660
3Double Voices: 1844-184681
4Browning Beside Himself: 1847-1851103
5Giotto's Tower: 1847-1851122
6A Gallery of Voices: 1851-1855147
7"What Form is Best?": 1852-1856172
Afterword203
Bibliography217
Index227

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