Women in the Literary Market 1800-1900

Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806-1861
horizontal rule
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most successful and respected poets of the nineteenth century. As a young girl she scorned the literary genres and modes of expression associated with women’s writing and dreamed of becoming a great poet in the style of classical antiquity. There were no female models for such poetic ambition, but Elizabeth set to work. She read voraciously and studied Greek–attaining a level of mastery almost unheard of in a woman.

Aurora Leigh (1857), her most ambitious work, saw more than twenty editions by 1900. For most of the twentieth century, literary histories tended to mention her as an appendix to discussions of her husband, Robert Browning. Her significant literary achievements were obscured until the 1970s, when feminist critics recognized Barrett Browning as a powerful, independent voice of social criticism and an innovative poet who anticipated movements in modern versification.

horizontal rule
Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Aurora Leigh. London: Chapman and Hall, 1859. Fourth edition, revised.
horizontal rule

view image 1
view image 2

continue reading

introduction
early role models
entering the literary market
learned poets
getting into print
charlotte bronte and george eliot
sin and sensation
new women
education
journalism
activism
L.T. Meade
the three volume format
credits
home
Cornell University Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections Cornell University Library

Copyright 2002 Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853
Phone Number: (607) 255-3530. Fax Number: (607) 255-9524

For reference questions, send mail to: rareref@cornell.edu
If you have questions or comments about the site, send mail to: webmaster.