Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Selected Poems
  • Publication Date: July 30, 2009
  • ISBN: 9781551114828 / 1551114828
  • 392 pages; 8½" x 5½"

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Selected Poems

  • Publication Date: July 30, 2009
  • ISBN: 9781551114828 / 1551114828
  • 392 pages; 8½" x 5½"

One of the leading poets of the nineteenth century, Elizabeth Barrett Browning had a profound influence on her contemporaries and on writers that followed her. This edition provides a rich and varied selection of Barrett Browning’s poetry, including relatively neglected material from her early career and works never before included in editions of her poetry. The edition is comprehensively annotated and includes a critical introduction; detailed headnotes for each poem also provide the reader with a deep understanding of the historical, biographical, and literary contexts in which the poems were written.

The extensive appendices include reviews and criticism and material on factory reform and slavery, as well as religion and the Italian Question.


“With this superb annotated edition—both a teaching text and an original contribution to scholarship—the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning at last has the presentation it has long deserved. The introduction, headnotes, and annotations of Marjorie Stone and Beverly Taylor contextualize the poetry in terms of its experimentalism, historical context, and wide-ranging allusions. Their edition does full justice to a major Victorian poet and demonstrates why she is a poet of such compelling magnitude and fascination.” — Linda K. Hughes, Addie Levy Professor of Literature, Texas Christian University

“This is the edition of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry that we have been waiting for. Edited by two leading authorities in the field, this volume offers a wide selection of EBB’s works taken from across her long career and will enable readers to gain an understanding of her important contribution to nineteenth-century poetics. The individual poems are meticulously annotated and introduced by insightful headnotes, whilst the introduction and supplementary materials explore key biographical, literary, social, and political contexts. Revealing the range of EBB’s poetic skills beyond Aurora Leigh, Stone and Taylor’s edition is a major contribution to scholarship and will be welcomed by students, lecturers, scholars, and general readers.” — Simon Avery, University of Westminster

Abbreviations, Primary Sources, and Website
Note on Citation Practices and EBB’s Punctuation
Preface: About this Edition
EBB: A Brief Chronology

1. Early Works

  • Unpublished Juvenilia
    • On the Cruelty of Forcement to Man Alluding to the Press Gang
    • Fragment of an “Essay on Woman”
  • From An Essay on Mind, with Other Poems (1826)
    • Stanzas on the Death of Lord Byron

2. From The Seraphim, and Other Poems (1838)

  • A Romance of the Ganges
    The Virgin Mary to the Child Jesus
    Felicia Hemans: To L.E.L.

3. From Poems (1844)

  • From the Preface
    From A Drama of Exile
    • The Soul’s Expression
      On a Portrait of Wordsworth by B.R. Haydon
      Past and Future
      To George Sand: A Desire
      To George Sand: A Recognition
  • The Romaunt of the Page
    Lady Geraldine’s Courtship
    From A Vision of Poets
    The Cry of the Children
    Bertha in the Lane
    Catarina to Camoens
    The Romance of the Swan’s Nest

4. [Aeschylus’s Monodrama] (Unpublished, 1845)

5. From Poems (1850)

  • Flush or Faunus
    Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave
    The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point
    A Reed
    Sonnets from the Portuguese

6. From Casa Guidi Windows (1851)

  • Advertisement to the First Edition
    Part I
    Part II

7. From Poems before Congress (1860)

  • Preface
    The Dance
    A Curse for a Nation

8. From Last Poems (1862)

  • Lord Walter’s Wife
    Bianca among the Nightingales
    A Musical Instrument
    Mother and Poet

Appendix A: Views, Reviews of Collected Poems, and Criticism

  1. From William Michael Rossetti, Some Reminiscences of William Michael Rossetti (1906)
  2. From Edgar Allan Poe, Broadway Journal (4 and 11 January 1845)
  3. From Frederick Rowton, The Female Poets of Great Britain (1853)
  4. From the English Woman’s Journal (7 August 1861)
  5. From [William Stigand], Edinburgh Review (July-October 1861)
  6. From [Gerald Massey], The North British Review (February-May 1862)
  7. From Peter Bayne, Two Great Englishwomen: Mrs Browning and Charlotte Brontë (1881)
  8. From Edmund Gosse, Critical Kit-Kats (1896)
  9. From G.K. Chesterton, The Victorian Age in Literature (1913)
  10. From Virginia Woolf, The Second Common Reader (1931)

Appendix B: Religion and Factory Reform

I Religion

  1. From The Guardian (22 January 1851)
  2. From Samuel B. Holcombe, Southern Literary Messenger (December 1861)
  3. From [Hannah Lawrance], The British Quarterly Review (October 1865)
  4. From The True Mary (1868)
  5. From Peter Bayne, Two Great Englishwomen: Mrs Browning and Charlotte Brontë (1881)

II Factory Reform

  1. From Frances Trollope, The Life and Adventures of Armstrong (1844)
  2. From On the Employment of Children and Young Persons (1841)

Appendix C: Trans-Atlantic Abolitionism and Responses to EBB’s Anti-Slavery Poems

I From The Liberty Bell

  1. From George S. Burleigh, “The Worth of the Union” (1845)
  2. Martha Hempstead, “The Fugitive” (1845)
  3. Maria Lowell, “The Slave-mother” (1846)
  4. From William Lloyd Garrison, “The American Union” (1845)

II The Original Opening of “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point”

III Responses to “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point” and
“Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave”

  1. The Literary World on “Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave” and “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point” (1851)
  2. Charlotte Forten on “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point” (1854)

Appendix D: The Italian Question, Reviews of Casa Guidi Windows, and Reviews of Poems Before Congress

  1. From [Giuseppe Mazzini], Westminster Review (April 1852)
  2. From The Athenaeum (7 June 1851)
  3. From The Leader (14 June 1851)
  4. From The Spectator (28 June 1851)
  5. From Eclectic Review (September 1851)
  6. From [Henry Fothergill Chorley], The Athenaeum (17 March 1860)
  7. From [Henry Fothergill Chorley], The Athenaeum (7 April 1860)
  8. From The Atlas (24 March 1860)
  9. From [William Edmondstoune Aytoun], Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (April 1860)
  10. Inscription on the Brownings’ home, Casa Guidi (1861)

Select Bibliography

Marjorie Stone is McCulloch Chair in English at Dalhousie University.

Beverly Taylor is Chair of the English Department at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Both have published widely on Elizabeth Barrett Browning.