Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Sonnets from the Portuguese

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett,

1806–61, English poet, b. Durham. A delicate and precocious child, she spent a great part of her early life in a state of semi-invalidism. She read voraciously—philosophy, history, literature—and she wrote verse. In 1838 the Barrett family moved to 50 Wimpole St., London. Six years later Elizabeth published Poems, which brought her immediate fame. The volume was a favorite of the poet Robert Browning, and he began to correspond with her. The two fell in love, but their courtship was secret because of the opposition of Elizabeth's tyrannical father. They married in 1846 and traveled to Italy, where most of their married life was spent and where their one son was born. Mrs. Browning threw herself into the cause of Italian liberation from Austria. "Casa Guidi," their home in Florence, is preserved as a memorial. Happy in her marriage, Mrs. Browning recovered her health in Italy, and her work as a poet gained in strength and significance. Her greatest poetry, Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850), was inspired by her own love story. Casa Guidi Windows (1851), on Italian liberty, and Aurora Leigh (1857), a novel in verse, followed. During her lifetime Mrs. Browning was considered a better poet than her husband. Today her life and personality excite more interest than her work. Although as a poet she has been criticized for diffuseness, pedantry, and sentimentality, she reveals in such poems as "The Cry of the Children" and some of the Sonnets from the Portuguese a highly individual gift for lyric poetry.


See The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1845–46 (1899, new ed. 1930); R. Besier, The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1930), the most popular dramatization of the Brownings' love story; biographies by G. B. Taplin (1957), I. C. Clarke (1929, repr. 1970), and M. Forster (1989); The Courtship of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning (1985) by D. Karlin; studies by H. Cooper (1988) and G. Stephenson (1989); bibliography by W. Barnes (1967).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett


(Moulton Barrett). Born Mar. 6, 1806, in Durham; died June 30, 1861, in Florence. English poet. Daughter of a West Indian planter and wife of the poet R. Browning.

Browning’s first work was the narrative poem The Battle of Marathon (1820). A collection of poems (vols. 1-2) was published in 1844; it included the poem, “The Cry of the Children,” which was translated into Russian several times and served as the basis for the work by N. A. Nekrasov of the same name. The theme of the poem is the backbreaking labor of children in capitalist factories. A subtle artist in the use of intimate lyrics, Browning also wrote poems with social themes, such as the poems Casa Guidi Windows (1851) and “Songs to the Congress” (1860), in which impressions of the Italian revolution of 1848 are reflected. Her novel in verse, Aurora Leigh (1857), was devoted to the theme of women’s equality.


Complete Poetical Works, vols. 1-2. New York, 1919.
The Letters, vols. 1-2. Edited by F. G. Kenyon. [London], 1897.


Iakovlev, N. “Nekrasov i Barret Brauning (’Plach detei’).” Kniga i revoliutsiia, 1921, no. 2.
Taplin, G. B. The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. New Haven, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
and take no rank among thinkers and speakers." See Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Anna Brownell Jameson, Florence, April 12, 1853, in Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, ed.
(60) Freiwald, "Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh: Transcendentalism and the Female Subject," Proceedings of the Xth Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, ed.
(9) Cora Kaplan famously questions the ending by calling it a "most vulgar" alteration to the Corinne myth in "lntroduction [from Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Aurora Leigh and Other Poems]," Critical Essays on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, ed.
(16) Robert Huntington Fletcher, "Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning," A History of English Literature (Boston: R.
The other essay on EBB in The Victorian and Italy is Lindsey Cordery's "Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Casa Guidi Windows" (pp.
would have utterly destroyed any hope of general acceptance & consequent utility" (Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Arabella Barrett, 10-18 December 1856; BC 23: 153).
This likely had much to do with Woolf's research on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and her dog.
(4) The Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (2010) lists the source for the text as the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library; the manuscript is dated 26 January 1821.
The concert is at 1.15pm and she will be accompanied by Jonathan Fisher (piano) as she sings songs by Schumann and Duparc as well as English songs inspired by poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Mary Coleridge.
Nash Noble provided the nuptial music, while Miss Allison Watkins read a selection from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's, Sonnets from the Portuguese.
The Blue warriors also have armour-plated feet and drink gasoline, while Arsenal's dainty little waifs wear petticoats and enjoy the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
'What a wonderful liberty our Rowland Hill has given to British spirits', wrote Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1843.