Cora Kaplan's wide-ranging Introduction to Aurora Leigh sets the scene for many of the future debates about Barrett Browning's poetry. Kaplan establishes the poem's feminist credentials by pointing immediately to its female imagery – the 'woman's figure'. Her later reading of this imagery as the return of a revolutionary, hitherto suppressed women's language echoes the ideas of French feminist writers such as Hélène Cixous. Aurora Leigh is a collage of Romantic and Victorian texts reworked from a woman's perspective. Gender difference, class warfare, the relation of art to politics: these three subjects as they were argued by the English and Continental intelligentsia are all engaged as intersecting issues in the poem. Aurora Leigh comes between two very explicitly political books: Casa Guidi Windows and Poems Before Congress, verse which deals much more directly than Aurora Leigh with the revolutionary issues of 1848 and after.