November 1855–June 1856, Letters 3678–3809
In Volume 22 the Brownings continue their winter residence in Paris. They read with interest the notices of RB’s Men and Women that begin appearing soon after its publication in November 1855. All the reviews traced for this period are presented in Appendix III, including those by George Eliot and William Morris. The Crimean War formally ends on 30 March 1856 with the signing of a peace treaty in Paris. EBB is disappointed that despite Piedmont’s participation on the allied side, nothing is done to free Italy from Austrian control. Correspondence in this volume includes letters to John Ruskin, in which RB reveals some of his theories about poetry. Although EBB stays inside most of the winter, RB goes out frequently. He attends a dinner hosted by Lady Monson and R.M. Milnes; among the guests are George Sand and Camillo di Cavour. Meanwhile, EBB writes feverishly to complete her modern epic Aurora Leigh, in order to be ready for printing when the Brownings return to London in June. However, as they prepare for departure at the end of the month, much work remains to be done.