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Title: The letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to her sister Arabella
Author: Lewis, Scott
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis is an edition of 167 of the 239 extant letters addressed to Arabella Barrett by her sister Elizabeth Barrett Browning and by Robert Browning during the years of their marriage. An introduction provides an analysis of the 167 letters: the first is dated Paris, 26 September 1846, fourteen days after the Brownings' marriage; the last was posted in Florence on 18 December 1856, following the release of her major work, Aurora Leigh, the previous month. This study places the letters in the context of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's life and works and examines the relationship between the content and style of the poet's epistolary writing and her major poetical works during this period. It also traces the major themes that emerge from the letters: her reactions to theological ideas (Swedenborgianism, spiritualism, and Christianity); her response to social and political issues (the Risorgimento, Napoleon Ill's policies, and English politics); and her reflections on marriage and family life (Browning, Pen, and her extended family). The introduction concludes with a brief examination of the relationship of Browning and Pen with Arabella after their return to London in 1861 until Arabella's death in 1868. The text of the letters follows with explanatory annotations at the end of each letter. The notes identify and amplify significant persons, places and events, artistic works, as well as literary, historical, and philosophical allusions. These notes include cross references, and provide an overview of patterns of thought, and offer links between important thematic developments. The thesis concludes with an appendix listing the remaining 72 letters written before EBB's death in 1861, followed by another appendix outlining the key historical and political events for this period. A bibliography is followed by a comprehensive index, affording the reader ready access to specific as well as conceptual topics in both the introduction and the text of the letters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available