Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh was one of the most radical and controversial poems of the Victorian period, and the work into which Barrett Browning believed her ‘highest convictions upon Life and Art have entered’ (‘Dedication’).

160 years on from the poem’s initial publication in November 1856, this one day conference at the University of Westminster’s historic Regent Street campus seeks to consider the legacies of Aurora Leigh for writers, artists and thinkers in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. What did Aurora Leigh mean for writers and intellectuals in the mid-Victorian period, the fin-de-siècle, and the modernist period? How did EBB’s formal experimentation and often challenging stance on issues of her ‘live, throbbing age’ (AL 5:203) influence subsequent poets, novelists and non-fictional prose writers? And in what ways did writers and artists critique, challenge or re-envision what EBB considered ‘the most mature’ of her works?

The conference invites papers on any aspect of the legacy of Aurora Leigh, c.1860-1945. Please see the Call for Papers page for further details.

We are thrilled to be joined by  Professor Marjorie Stone from Dalhousie University and Professor Margaret Reynolds from Queen Mary, University of London as the conference keynotes. Please see the Keynote Speakers page for further details.

Conference Organiser

Simon Avery is Reader in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture at the University of Westminster, London. His publications include Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Writers and Their Work (Northcote House, 2011), Selected Poems of Mary Coleridge (Shearsman, 2010), Thomas Hardy: A Reader’s Guide (Palgrave, 2009), Lives of Victorian Literary Figures: The Brownings (Pickering and Chatto, 2004), and Elizabeth Barrett Browning (co-authored with Rebecca Stott, Longman, 2003). A collection of essays on queer London, Sex, Time and Space: Queer Histories of London, c.1850 to the Present (co-edited with Katherine M. Graham) is forthcoming from Bloomsbury.