Aurora Leigh, Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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Post by BoltofTash » July 25th, 2007, 8:01 am

I see there are lots of shorter Barrett Browning works, but would people be interested in collaborating on her Aurora Leigh? I'm really, really new, so I don't think I could coordinate the whole thing, but I would love to contribute readings. It's a long work -- she called it her "novel in verse" -- but beautiful, and unique.

Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry:

and the full text:

I think it's public domain everywhere -- she published the text in 1856 -- but again, I'm new, so feel free to enlighten me!
Last edited by TriciaG on November 2nd, 2010, 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merged two Book Suggestions threads into one

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Post by earthcalling » July 26th, 2007, 4:04 pm

I picked up a copy of this a couple of months ago, and thought it was really wonderful. If it didn't need a female voice, I'd perhaps have given it a go.

Good suggestion!


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Post by BoltofTash » July 27th, 2007, 2:38 pm

I'd leave this one open to voices of all genders; I know just what you mean, especially about Aurora Leigh, but then at the same time I love the idea of LibriVox being a free-for-for-all beyond the sex of the text's original author! Plus that quality that comes through the voice of a reader who really enjoys the author or poem or novel or whatever.
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Post by musicalheart1 » October 28th, 2010, 9:51 pm

I just had to read this for a 19th Century Poetry module and absolutely loved it! Text available here:

Wikipedia summarises the story as:

Aurora Leigh (1856) is an eponymous epic novel/poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The poem is written in blank verse and encompasses nine books (the woman's number, the number of the prophetic books of the Sibyl). It is a first person narration, from the point of view of Aurora; its other heroine, Marian Erle, is an abused self-taught child of itinerant parents. The poem is set in Florence, Malvern, London, and Paris. She uses her knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, while also playing off modern novels, such as Corinne ou l'Italie by Anne Louise Germaine de Staël and the novels by George Sand. Through Book 5, Aurora narrates her past, from her childhood to the age of about 27; in Books 6-9, the narrative has caught up with her, and she reports events in diary form. Elizabeth Barrett Browning styled the poem "a novel in verse", and referred to it as "the most mature of my works, and the one into which my highest convictions upon Life and Art have entered."

I think it's perfect for Librivox. Because of its unique form- being a novel in verse- I'm not sure what would be a better format for it, regular book-project format or as a dramatic work (there have been some pretty creative dramatic works cropping up lately and this might be an interesting addition to the pack).

Any thoughts or interest? I'd be more than happy to help out, though I'm still struggling with recording problems at the moment.


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Post by Availle » October 28th, 2010, 10:17 pm

This has popped up before. About 90.000 words in 9 'books'.

Beyond that, no help from me, I'm afraid - I su...really am not good at poetry :D


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Post by topright » February 3rd, 2018, 12:39 am

I'm willing to record this book. I'm male, but I can try to give the proper expressiveness to the characters.

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Post by annise » February 3rd, 2018, 4:38 am

Great idea to add to your to do list . It's probably not an easy read so it would be a good idea to whip up your "sound check" aka the 1 minute test just to get all the boring tech bits right for us to use - we need them for Archive to do all the things they do for us , then maybe read a poem or 2 to see how you'd like this to be set up etc. There are weekly and fortnightly poetry projects always running and plenty of open projects of all sorts wanting a reader.
That way you'd be read to jump straight into the reading part confidently and be happy with your final product.


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Post by pinkfox » April 18th, 2018, 5:13 pm

I listened to Aurora Leigh with a TTS software and I adore Browning's literary prowess. However I too am new to Librivox or recording audiobooks in general, and Aurora Leigh is quite an epic to take on straight away. Perhaps after I practice with a few short entries, I can give this a go.

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