Aurora Leigh Criticism

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Perhaps the best summary of the critical reaction to Aurora Leigh is the following quote from William Edmondstoune Aytoun, the famous literary critic for Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine: “With all its faults, this is a remarkable poem; strong in energy, rich in thought, abundant in beauty.” Aytoun had blasted the poem as “fantastic, unnatural, exaggerated” and had found the character of Aurora to be unattractive, some of the language coarse and revolting, and the images often bewilderingly intensified. Nonetheless, writing in 1857, he felt that Aurora Leigh sustained Browning's high reputation.

Similarly, W. C. Roscoe, a contemporary of Aytoun's, wrote in the National Review that Browning “has produced a work which, in completeness of form and artistic execution, falls far short of many of her previous efforts; but which in matter far surpasses the best of them.” Roscoe thought the poem excessively long with superfluous detail and remarked...

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This section contains 595 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Aurora Leigh Study Guide
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