This volume in the 21st Century Oxford Authors series offers students and readers a comprehensive selection of the work of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861). Accompanied by full scholarly apparatus, this authoritative edition enables students to study Barrett Browning's work within the rich context of her life and writing career.
The revaluation of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's work by feminist scholars has made her an established author in university syllabuses in Britain and in America. Yet the reception of Barrett Browning as a writer within an explicitly female tradition has tended to limit the appreciation of her wider contribution to English literary culture in the nineteenth century, just as her popular image as a ringleted romantic heroine served sentimentally to eclipse her role as a literary pioneer. This
edition complements or corrects these emphases by being the first edition dedicated to witnessing the progress and growth of the poet's creative direction-from her juvenilia through to her major achievements and beyond.
The selection of works presented here appear in the order in which they were originally published, enabling students and readers to experience the contours of Barrett Browning's poetic career. Thus, following selections from published juvenilia, The Battle of Marathon (1820) and 'An Essay on Mind' and Other Poems (1826) and from 'Prometheus Bound' and Miscellaneous Poems (1833), there are more extensive selections from 'The Seraphim' and Other Poems (1838), from Poems 1844 and from Poems 1850
including the full text of Sonnets from the Portuguese. Substantial excerpts from Casa Guidi Windows (1851) is followed by the full text of Aurora Leigh (1857) and by selections from the posthumous Last Poems (1862). These individual sections are supplemented by careful selections (also
chronologically ordered) from the correspondence, including the courtship letters with Robert Browning, and, where applicable, from poetry unpublished in the nineteenth century.
Explanatory notes and commentary are included, to enhance the study, understanding, and enjoyment of these works, and the edition includes an Introduction to the life and works of Barrett Browning, and a Chronology.
Dr Josie Billington is a specialist in Victorian Literature who has published widely on nineteenth-century fiction and poetry. Her publications include Faithful Realism (2002), (ed) Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters (2006), Eliot's Middlemarch (2008), Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Shakespeare (2012), (ed) Margaret Oliphant Novellas (2013). She is also engaged in interdisciplinary medical humanities research in the area of reading and health, with Is Literature Healthy? (OUP, 2016). Professor Philip Davis is author of Volume 8:1830 - 1880: The Victorians in The Oxford English Literary History series (OUP, 2002). His other works include Sudden Shakespeare (1997), Shakespeare Thinking (2007), and two biographies, Bernard Malamud: A Writer's Life (OUP,2007) and The Transferred Life of George Eliot (OUP, 2017). He is general editor of a new series from Oxford University Press, 'The Literary Agenda', on the future of literary studies in the twenty-first century, contributing his own volume Reading and The Reader (2013) building on The Experience of Reading (1991) and Real Voices: On Reading (1997). He is editor of The Reader magazine.