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Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Books 3 & 4

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: "You know how ladies are like windmills?"

Aurora Leigh! EBB's novel in verse. This week we read Books 3 & 4, which involve Aurora making her name as a poet, talking about how great London is to inspire one, and also some gay stuff and Aurora's cousin Romney Leigh almost marries Marian Erle, A Poor Person, but then she says never mind.

If we're going to pick a gay person in this book, I pick Marian. SURE, you can say "But she seems too into Romney." I also really wanted to marry a dude who I could help with his Great Life's Work. But guess what? I then turned out to be super gay.

Marian says

“I’d rather far be trodden by his foot,

Than lie in a great queen’s bosom.”

And it's like, um, no one MENTIONED a great queen's bosom, Marian. That was all you. But sure, now that we're on the topic of ladies and their bosoms etc, what's up with—

Marian: I'M NOT GAY ladies just kiss me all the time I don't even ask them to.



Marian has had a very hard life and now has to deal with all these ladies being into this guy who kind of insinuated himself into her life (in a non-creepy way), so now they keep popping up and talking to her about Romney and also being like "oh you think he loves you? Cool cool cool. No, I just — what? No, everything's fine. He probably totally does."

So then Marian doesn't show up on their wedding day and maybe runs off with a lady? But obviously this is still Not Gay.

ALSO what's up with EBB describing the poor people in the church basically like total animals? I read she was very supportive of the poor etc, but this is kinda shitty.

WHAT A VERY INTERESTING BOOK.

Ere you came
She kissed me mouth to mouth: I felt her soul
Dip through her serious lips in holy fire.



Comments

  1. Thank you for doing this readalong and making sure to make it gay. Unearth the gay? Cos it was there all along? Anyway, I hope Marian gets those great queen bosom she's definitely NOT looking for.

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