Works Cited

Anonymous. "Ebony Interview: Julia Markus." Ebony  50 (1995): 100, 152.

Barnes, Julian. Flaubert's Parrot.  New York: Vintage, 1990.

Browning, Elizabeth B. Aurora Leigh.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Burns, Monique. "A Cultural Bombshell: Two of World's Greatest Lovers — Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning — Were Descendants of Blacks." Ebony  50 (1995): 96, 98, 150.

Cody, David. "Autobiographical Elements in Dickens's Great Expectations ."

Cody, David. "Dickens: A Brief Biography."

Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Douglas, Laurelyn. "The Relationship of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning."

Kenyon, Frederic G., ed. The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  2 vols. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1897.

Landow, George P. "Biographical Fact and Fiction in Aurora Leigh. "

Landow, George P. "Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Self-Presentation as Poet-Invalid."

Lee, Alison. Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction.  New York: Routledge, 1990.

Markus, Julia. Dared and Done: The Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning.  New York: Knopf, 1995.

Martin, Robert B. "A Valetudinarian and Her Values." Times Literary Supplement  (1988): 900.

McSweeney, Kerry. "Introduction." Aurora Leigh.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Sanders,Valerie. The Private Lives of Victorian Women: Autobiography in Nineteenth-Century England.  New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989.

Smith, Amanda. "PW Interviews: Graham Swift." Publishers Weekly  239 (1992): 43 - 44.

Swift, Graham. Waterland.  New York: Random House, 1992.

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Abel, Ernest L. "The Most-Hated Man in America." American History Illustrated  22 (1987): 10 - 15.

Anonymous. "Charles Dickens: A Chronology of His Life."

Anonymous. "Elizabeth Barrett Browning Chronology."

Brewer, John. "History and Telling Stories: Graham Swift's Waterland. " History Today 35 (1985): 49 - 51.

Janik, Del I. "History and the 'Here and Now': The Novels of Graham Swift." Twentieth Century Literature  35 (1989): 74 - 88.

Tomalin, Claire. The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens.  New York: Knopf: Distributed by Random House, 1991.


1 While she was writing the concluding section, in which the reader is led to expect some solution of Marian's problem, Elizabeth's personal maid Wilson, who had been with her eleven years and had become her closest friend, announced her engagement when she was four months pregnant. Rather than showing her the compassion of Aurora Leigh, Elizabeth forgot that Wilson had taken on herself all the arrangements of her mistress's elopement, had accompanied her to Italy and had never been given a rise in salary. All she could remember was that Wilson's baby would be a grave inconvenience for herself. Wilson finally had to leave the child in England for four years, and when she returned to Italy, she was replaced by another maid. (Quoted by Landow).

2 According to Martin, Browning asserted her own identity amid a large family by adopt[ing] the roles of "resident poet and, more dangerously for her own stability, that of family invalid ... (Quoted by Landow).

3 The masculine bias inherent in Western myths complicates the task for Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Aurora Leigh because this is the conventional narrative pattern that people have been accustomed to in literature. Promoting a strong, independent, female character created problems for Elizabeth because when she examined the English canon for female antecedents, she was disappointed by the lack of such antecedents: "'I look everywhere for grandmothers and see none'" (Kenyon i. 232, quoted in McSweeney xvii). Aurora Leigh is a novel "verse novel" because the female fictional autobiography has never been a literary genre. Elizabeth had to create Aurora Leigh, both the book and the title heroine, without an established narrative tradition.

However, it is also these myths that ancient people told to establish a sense of order in their chaotic world. The myths explain such fearful and stochastic occurrences as thunder and lighting by attributing them to a god. Even in Shakespearean works, any chaos (such as an emperor's death) is a result of a temporary loss of this order established by the gods.

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Last modified 1996