Browning, Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poetess, was born at Coxhoe Hall, Durham, March 6,1806, but spent her girlhood mostly on her father's estate, near Ledbury, in Herefordshire. At ten she read Homer in the original, and at fourteen wrote an epic on The Battle of Marathon. About 1824 she seriously injured her spine, tffe result of an accident while endeavouring to saddle her horse, and was long an invalid. The family ultimately settled in London. Her Essay on Mind, and other poems, was published when she was nineteen. In 1833 she issued a translation of the Prometheus Bound This was succeeded by The Seraphim, and other Poems (1838), in which volume was republished the fine poem on Cowper s grave. When staying at Torquay, her brother and a party of friends were drowned in a boating expedition, and the shock confined her for many years to a sickroom. In 1844 appeared the Poems, which contained The Cry of the Children, a noble outburst over the wrongs of young children employed in factories. In 1846 she first saw Robert Browning, and next autumn they were married. The Poems of 1850 contained an entirely new translation of the Prometheus Bound. In Casa Gnidi Windows (1851) she expressed her sympathy with the regeneration of Italy. Aurora Leigh (1856) is a poem into which all the treasures of its writer's mind and heart have been poured. In Poems before Congress (1860) she again manifested her interest in Italian freedom. She died at Florence, 30th June 1861. The Last Poems (1862) included several translations written in early life. Greek Christian Poets and the English Poets (1863) consisted of prose essays and translations, from the Athenceum of 1842. Her so-called Sonnets from the Portuguese are the best love-poems in the language. See her Letters to 11. H. Home (1876); her Letters, ed. by Kenyon (1897); her and her husband's Letters 1845-46 (1899); Bayne, Two Great Englishwomen (18S0); Ingram's Life (1889) ; Wise's Bibliography (1918).
1. Chamber's Biographical Dictionary, Philadelphia, 1926, page 141.

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