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Women's Literary Networks and Romanticism"A Tribe of Authoresses"$
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Andrew O. Winckles and Angela Rehbein

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940605

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940605.001.0001

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date: 30 March 2020

‘Your Fourier’s Failed’

‘Your Fourier’s Failed’

Networks of Affect and Anti-Socialist Meaning in Aurora Leigh

(p.274) Chapter Ten ‘Your Fourier’s Failed’
Women's Literary Networks and Romanticism

Eric Hood

Liverpool University Press

This chapter traces the affective forces at work in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s representation of utopian socialist Charles Fourier in Aurora Leigh (1855).  In Barrett Browning’s verse-novel, “Fourier” operates as a sign mediated by networks of affect, referring not only to the political struggles surrounding socialism in the 1850s but also to Barrett Browning’s personal psychoanalytic conflicts against both her father and her own queer desires (particularly, for George Sand).  Thus, “Fourier” functions as a nodal point in Aurora Leigh where a political crisis and the author’s individual psychological needs meet to produce a dismissal of the economic and social alternatives that were available at that historical moment and the forms of queer identity that challenged the heteronormative, liberal order.

Keywords:   Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh, socialism, liberalism, Charles Fourier, affect, queer, George Sand, psychoanalysis

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