This new study of Elizabeth Barrett Browning vigorously challenges the dominant cultural myths of the poet as a solitary recluse, self-exiled from the world of politics, by arguing that she was one of the most astute and politically-informed critics of the social and political events of her time. Simon Avery and Rebecca Stott offer readings of a wide range of Barrett Browning's writings, from her earliest works to her last poems. Through their examination of her poetry about the position of women, slavery, industrialism, nationalism in Greece and Italy, and the interrelations between art and politics, Barrett Browning emerges not only as a poet of significant rhetorical power, but also as an audacious innovator of poetic form and a woman who was preoccupied throughout her life by the relationship between familial and political power. This innovative, accessible study provides an important and refreshing introduction to this highly-regarded poet who constantly questioned accepted thinking and who was never afraid to court controversy. It resituates Barrett Browning's poetry at the heart of the central social, political and intellectual debates of her time. Dr Rebecca Stott is Reader in Literature and History in the English Department at APU in Cambridge. She is the author ofThe Fabrication of the Late-Victorian Femme Fatale(Palgrave Macmillan, 1996), and the editor ofTennyson(Longman, 1996). Simon Avery is a Lecturer in English in the Department of Humanities at the University of Hertfordshire. He has published work on Barrett Browning, the Brontes, Christina Rossetti, Eleanor Marx, and Mary Coleridge.Stott, Rebecca is the author of 'Elizabeth Barrett Browning' with ISBN 9780582404700 and ISBN 0582404703.