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Analysis Of "How Do I Love Thee?" By Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

841 words - 3 pages

Elizabeth Barrett was born in Durham England in 1806, the first daughter of affluent parents who owned sugar plantations in Jamaica. She was home-schooled and read voraciously in history, philosophy and literature. Young Elizabeth learned Hebrew in order to read original Bible texts and Greek in order to read original Greek drama and philosophy. She began writing poems when she was 12 years old, though she did not publish her first collection for another twenty years.Elizabeth Barrett developed a serious respiratory ailment by age 15 and a horse riding accident shortly thereafter left her with a serious spinal injury. These two health problems remained with her all of her life.In 1828 her mother died and four years later the family business faltered and her father sold the Durham estate and moved the family to a coastal town. He was stern, protective, and even tyrannical and forbid any of his children to marry. In 1833 Elizabeth published her first work, a translation of Prometheus Bound by the Greek dramatist Aeschylus.A few years later the family moved to London. Her father began sending Elizabeth's younger brothers and sisters to Jamaica to help with the family business. Elizabeth was distressed because she openly opposed slavery in Jamaica and on the family plantations and because she did not want her siblings sent away.In 1838 Elizabeth Barrett wrote and published The Seraphim and Other Poems. The collection took the form of a classical Greek tragedy and expressed her deep Christian sentiments.Shortly thereafter, Elizabeth's poor health prompted her to move to Italy, accompanied by her dear brother Edward, whom she referred to as "Bro." Unfortunately he drowned a year later in a sailing accident and Elizabeth returned to London, seriously ill, emotionally broken, and hopelessly grief-stricken. She became reclusive for the next five years, confining herself to her bedroom.She continued to write poetry, however, and published a collection in 1844 simply titled, Poems. Edgar Allan Poe also published it in the United States with an introduction. In one of the poems she praised one of the works of Robert Browning, which gained his attention. He wrote back to her, expressing his admiration for Poems.Over the next twenty months Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning exchanged 574 letters. An admiration, respect, and love for each other grew and flourished. In 1845 Robert Browning sent Elizabeth a telegram which read, "I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett. I do, as I say, love these...

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