The text is accompanied by both explanatory annotations and textual notes. "Backgrounds and Contexts" includes thirty letters or letter excerpts by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning that trace Aurora Leigh's inception, evolution, and publication. Seven contemporary documents-on the "woman question," prostitution, socialism, and poetic theory-place the text historically. "Criticism" collects twenty-five assessments of Aurora Leigh from the period 1899-1993. A wide range of opinion is provided by George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Ellen Moers, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Angela Leighton, Deirdre David, Dorothy Mermin, and Margaret Reynolds, among others. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.