About Elizabeth Browning (Barrett)
Wikipedia Biographical Summary:
"...Elizabeth Barrett Browning (6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861) was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime. A collection of her last poems was published by her husband, Robert Browning, shortly after her death..."
"...Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett was born on 6 March 1806, in Coxhoe Hall, between the villages of Coxhoe and Kelloe in County Durham, England. Her parents were Edward Barrett Moulton Barrett and Mary Graham Clarke; Elizabeth was the eldest of their 12 children (eight boys and four girls). All the children lived to adulthood except for one girl, who died at the age of three when Elizabeth was eight. The children in her family all had nicknames: Elizabeth's was "Ba". Elizabeth was baptized in 1809 at Kelloe Parish Church, though she had already been baptized by a family friend in the first week after she was born. Later that year, after the fifth child, Henrietta, was born, their father bought Hope End, [an] estate near the Malvern Hills in Ledbury, Herefordshire, where Elizabeth spent her childhood..."
"...In 1828, Barrett Browning’s mother died. She wrote "scarcely I was a woman when I lost my mother". She is buried at the Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels in Ledbury, next to her daughter Mary. Sarah Graham-Clarke, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's aunt, helped to care of the children and was known to clash with the strong will of Elizabeth. In 1831 Barrett Browning's grandmother, Elizabeth Moulton, died. The family moved three times between 1832 and 1837, first to a white Georgian building in Sidmouth, Devonshire, where they remained for three years. Later they moved on to Gloucester Place in London..."
"...Between 1841–4 Barrett Browning was prolific in poetry, translation and prose. The poem "The Cry of the Children", published in 1842 in Blackwoods, condemned child labour and helped bring about child labour reforms by rousing support for Lord Shaftesbury's Ten Hours Bill (1844) ...Since she was not burdened with any domestic duties expected of her sisters, Elizabeth could now devote herself entirely to the life of the mind, cultivating an enormous correspondence, reading widely”. Her prolific output made her a rival to Tennyson's as a candidate for poet laureate in 1850 on the death of Wordsworth..."
"...Her 1844 volume Poems made her one of the most popular writers in the country at the time and inspired Robert Browning to write to her, telling her how much he loved her work. He had been an admirer of her poetry for a long time and wrote "I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett" praising their "fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought". Kenyon arranged for Robert Browning to meet Elizabeth on 20 May 1845, in her rooms, and so began one of the most famous courtships in literature..."
"...The courtship and marriage between Robert Browning and Elizabeth were carried out secretly as she and her siblings were convinced their father would disapprove. Six years his elder and an invalid, she could not believe that the vigorous and worldly Robert Browning really loved her as much as he professed to. After a private marriage at St. Marylebone Parish Church, they honeymooned in Paris. Browning then imitated his hero Shelley by spiriting his wife off to Italy, in September 1846, which became her home almost continuously until her death. Elizabeth's loyal nurse, Wilson, who witnessed the marriage, accompanied the couple to Italy. Mr. Barrett disinherited Elizabeth, as he did each of his children who married..."
"... she gave birth to a son, Robert Wiedemann Barrett Browning, whom they called Pen. Their son later married but had no legitimate children..."
"...In 1860 they returned to Rome, only to find that Elizabeth’s sister Henrietta had died, news which made Elizabeth weak and depressed. She became gradually weaker, using morphine to ease her pain. She died on 29 June 1861 in her husband's arms..."
SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, Elizabeth Barrett Browning', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 31 May 2012, 18:40 UTC [accessed 23 June 2012]