Browning, Elizabeth Barrett: Further Reading

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Donaldson, Sandra. Elizabeth Barrett Browning: An Annotated Bibliography of the Commentary and Criticism, 1826-1990. New York: G. K. Hall, 1993, 642 p.

Includes an introduction identifying principal works and dominant themes; criticism is in English, French, and Italian.


Forster, Margaret. Elizabeth Barrett Browning: A Biography. London: Chatto & Windus, 1988, 416 p.

Offers new primary evidence about Browning's childhood.

Taplin, Gardner B. The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957, 482 p.

Provides a definitive biography, with a detailed account of the creation, publication, and critical reception of Browning's poetry.


Byrd, Deborah. "Combating an Alien Tyranny: Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Evolution as a Feminist Poet." Browning Institute Studies 15 (1987): 23-41.

Examines Browning's place in the history of women writers, including the poet's own reading and influences and the development of her social thought.

Case, Alison. "Gender and Narration in Aurora Leigh." Victorian Poetry 29, no. 1 (spring 1991): 17-32.

Contends that in Aurora Leigh Browning transgressed the conventions of the novel.

Cooper, Helen. "Working into Light: Elizabeth Barrett Browning." In Shakespeare's Sisters: Feminist Essays on Women Poets, edited by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, pp. 65-81. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979.

Considers Browning's portrayal of the patriarchal literary tradition and her criticisms of women's complicity in their own oppression.

——. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Woman and Artist. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988, 231 p.

Analyzes Browning's work in the context of liberal humanism and at a unique moment in the nineteenth century open to nontraditional authors who represent a middle-class spirit.

David, Deirdre. "Woman's Art as Servant of Patriarchy: The Vision of Aurora Leigh." In Intellectual Women and Victorian Patriarchy: Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, pp. 143-58. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987.

Contends that despite feminist interpretations to the contrary, Aurora Leigh engages in a traditional and conservative endorsement of patriarchal politics.

Friewald, Bina. "'The praise which men give women': Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh and the Critics." Dalhousie Review 66 (1986): 311-36.

Suggests that Victorian reviewers' praise for Aurora Leigh weakened its potential force as a radical or subversive text.

Gelpi, Barbara Charlesworth. "Aurora Leigh: The Vocation of the Woman Poet." Victorian Poetry 19, no. 1 (spring 1981): 35-48.

Sees Aurora Leigh as a metaphorical investigation of Browning's changing attitudes toward herself, her profession, and womanhood in general.

Gilbert, Sandra M. "From Patria to Matria: Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Risorgimento." PMLA 99, no. 2 (1984): 194-211.

Parallels Browning's interest in Italy's nationalization with the poet's own search for a new identity grounded in a feminine tradition; contends that she sees in Italy the potential for a new kind of society separate from patriarchy.

Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. "The Aesthetics of Renunciation." In The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, pp. 539-80. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979.

Interprets Aurora Leigh as a compromise between self-assertion and feminine submission, where the heroine must learn to give up her identity.

Hayter, Alethea. Mrs. Browning: A Poet's Work and its Setting. London: Faber and Faber, 1962, 261 p.

Attempts to shift the course of criticism on Browning by emphasizing poetic craft and originality over personality and "womanly sweetness."

Jones, Christine Kenyon. "'Some World's-Wonder in Chapel or Crypt': Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Disability." Nineteenth Century Studies 16 (2002): 21-35.

Looks at the relationships among gender, disability, and identity in Browning's poetry and letters.

Leighton, Angela. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986, 192 p.

Interprets Browning's work with feminist and psychoanalytic approaches, including an emphasis on the poet's family relationships as reflected in the poems.

——. "'Because men made the laws': The Fallen Woman and the Woman Poet." In New Feminist Discourses: Critical Essays on Theories and Texts, edited by Isobel Armstrong, pp. 342-60. New York: Routledge, 1992.

Observes how women poets including Browning, Christina Rossetti, and others ally themselves with the figure of the fallen woman to help create a feminine poetic voice.

Lupton, Mary Jane. "The Printing Woman Who Lost Her Place: Elizabeth Barrett Browning." Women 2, no. 1 (1970): 2-5.

Suggests that Browning's work has been undervalued because of misplaced attention to her illness and her femininity; critiques the poet's handling of gender issues in Aurora Leigh.

Mermin, Dorothy. "Genre and Gender in Aurora Leigh." The Victorian Newsletter 69 (spring 1986): 7-11.

Contends that Aurora Leigh transgresses the distinction between poetry and fiction as it does the distinction between males and females.

——. Elizabeth Barrett Browning: The Origins of a New Poetry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989, 325 p.

Emphasizes Browning's creation of new poetic forms as well as new ways of being a woman in society, particularly in her marriage; notes the influence of both Romantic and Victorian culture.

Moers, Ellen. Literary Women: The Great Writers. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1976, 336 p.

Includes Browning in the tradition of nineteenth-century women writers, noting common themes, images, and genres.

Schor, Esther. "The Poetics of Politics: Barrett Browning's Casa Guidi Windows." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 17, no. 2 (fall 1998): 305-24.

Analyzes Browning's political poetry about Italy.

Steinmetz, Virginia. "Images of 'Mother-Want' in Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh." Victorian Poetry 21, no. 4 (1983): 351-67.

Takes a psychoanalytic approach to maternal imagery in Aurora Leigh.

Stephenson, Glennis. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the Poetry of Love. Ann Arbor, Mich.: U.M.I. Research Press, 1989, 153 p.

Asserts that Browning's love poetry uses a female voice employing a male tradition; observes the poet's insistence on an active role for women in relationships and the reality of feminine sexual desire.

Stone, Marjorie. "Cursing as One of the Fine Arts: Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Political Poems." Dalhousie Review 66, no. 1-2 (1986): 155-73.

Sees the curses in Browning's poems as expressions of anger for women's oppression.

Straight, Julie. "'Neither Keeping Either Under': Gender and Voice in Elizabeth Barrett's The Seraphim." Victorian Poetry 38, no. 2 (summer 2000): 269-88.

Focuses on Browning's treatment of the Crucifixion and its relationship to hierarchy and the female Voice.

Walsh, Susan. "'Doing the Afra Behn': Barrett Browning's Portrait of the Artist." Victorian Poetry 36, no. 2 (summer 1998): 163-86.

Links the discourse of Victorian sanitation reform and public health concerns to the treatment of gender roles in Aurora Leigh.


Additional coverage of Browning's life and career is contained in the following sources published by the Gale Group: British Writers, Vol. 4; Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography, 1832-1890; Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 32, 199; DISCovering Authors; DISCovering Authors: British Edition; DISCovering Authors: Canadian Edition; DISCovering Authors Modules: Most-studied Authors and Poets; DISCovering Authors 3.0; Exploring Poetry; Literature Resource Center; Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vols. 1, 16, 61, 66; Poetry Criticism, Vol. 6; Poetry for Students, Vols. 2, 16; Poets: American and British; Twayne's English Authors; World Literature and Its Times; World Literature Criticism; and World Poets.

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Browning, Elizabeth Barrett: Further Reading

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