Elizabeth Barrett Browning biography :
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born on March 6, 1806 to Edward
Barrett and Mary Graham-Clarke, a financially well-to-do couple who
owned Jamaican sugar plantations. She was the eldest of twelve
children and she, together with her siblings, spent much of their
childhood at the family home in Herefordshire, England.
Her father educated her at home, but much of her knowledge can be
attributed to her friendship with Hugh Stuart Boyd, a blind scholar
who was also their neighbor. Although she was not allowed to go to
school, she learned much by attending the tutorial lessons of her
brother. At 14, she penned and published her first poem.
Several misfortunes, including the death of her mother, and the
abolition of slavery, which was instrumental in reducing the family
income significantly prompted the Barretts to sell their estate and
move to London. The move to London had an adverse effect on her
health and Elizabeth Browning often fell ill. This, however, did not
impede on her writing, and her fame as a poet and critic grew.
On 10 January 1845, Elizabeth Barrett received a letter from fellow
writer, Robert Browning, whose first line went: "I love your verses
with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett -- I do, as I say, love these
verses with all my heart...". This started a remarkable courtship
that lasted for over a year. Edward Barrett looked down upon this
relationship as he did not want any of his children to marry. The
couple opted to elope and got married in secret on 12 September
1846. Edward Barrett never forgave his daughter.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her husband, Robert Barrett, moved to
Italy in 1846 and lived in Casa Guidi in Florence. Her health
improved vastly in Italy and in 1849, after three miscarriages,
Elizabeth gave birth to Robert Wiedemann Browning, whom they fondly
Elizabeth Barrett Browning died in the arms of her husband on June
29, 1861. She left behind several exquisite literary pieces
including Sonnets From the Portuguese (1850), Casa Guidi Windows
(1851), Aurora Leigh (1857), and Poems Before Congress (1960). She
is, however, most known for Sonnet 43 (Love Sonnet), a poem she
wrote to her husband sometime during their married life in Italy.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is buried in the English Cemetery in