A Biography On Elizabeth Barrett Browning

1049 words - 4 pages

There are many famous women poets in English History. A very honored poet is Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, an English poet, as well as an invalid, wrote many great works, such as her well known "Sonnets From the Portuguese" which included on of her most famous poems, "How Do I Love Thee?"Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born at Coxhoe Hall, Durham, England on March 6, 1806. She was the oldest of 12 children born to Edward and Mary Barrett. Elizabeth was never formally taught. She was taught privately educated and spent most of her childhood in the country. (Omans 195) "It was a happy and playful childhood," (www.incwell.com/spectrum.html 3/5/99) but when Elizabeth was 15 years old, Elizabeth became very sick. "She suffered from a nervous disorder causing headaches, weakness, and fainting spells for the rest of her life," (Omans 195) basically disabling her from everything. She was described as "a pale small person, scarcely embodied at all." Through her disorder, Elizabeth wrote and published many different books and poems. (Barnhart 132) In 1832, Elizabeth moved to Sidmouth, Devon with her family and several years later they moved to London. When Elizabeth was 36, her favorite brother, Edward drowned. (Omans 195) Elizabeth secluded herself from everybody except a close circle of friends and family. She maintained most of her friendships through letters. (www.incwell.com/spectrum.html 3/5/99) In 1845, she received a telegram from a poet named Robert Browning. "I love your verses with all my heart, dear Ms. Barrett. I do, as I say, love these books with all my heart - and I love you too." (www.eb.com:180/bot/topic?eu= 16966&sctn 3/17/99) The two of them met a year later and fell in love. They wrote to each other everyday and the letters from their courtship are a wonderful record of its progress. Elizabeth and Robert kept their love secret because Elizabeth's father was strongly opposed to the relationship. He was seen as "jealous and tyrannical." (Barnhart 132) On September 12, 1846, Robert and Elizabeth eloped. For the next week, Elizabeth lived at home so the secret would not be revealed. But it was said that when Elizabeth's father died 10 years later, she had never been forgiven. (Omans 195) Shortly after their marriage, Elizabeth and Robert moved to Florence, Italy. (Eagle 171) There, Elizabeth got her health back and in 1849, had a little boy, their only child, Robert Wiedmann Barrett Browning. (Barnhart 132) They lived in Florence until Elizabeth's death in 1861. (Eagle 171)Elizabeth Barrett started writing at an early age. When she was 13 years old, her father printed 15 copies of her epic, "The Battle of Marathon." When she was 20, Elizabeth anonymously published, "An Essay on Mind, with Other Poems". (Omans 195) Elizabeth's best works are contained in her "Sonnets From the Portuguese". This collection on poems was a series of love sonnets to her husband. Some other works included: "Poems", "Casa Guidi...

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