God's Exquisite Garden

The Love Story of Robert Browning and
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Well-known to everyone who loves literature is the love story of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. One of the sweetest love stories on record is that of two great English poets.

Elizabeth was born in 1806, but in 1835 her health began to decline after the Barrett family moved to London. She was seemingly doomed to spend the remainder of her days confined to her house, after becoming a permanent invalid.

She and Robert Browning began to correspond in 1846, after some of her poems were published.

They were married in 1846. Elizabeth had written Sonnets from the Portuguese during their courtship. In these sonnets she recorded the growth of the love she had for Robert Browning. Her sonnets are probably the best known love poems in the English language.

Robert Browning suggested the title for the sonnets. Elizabeth was teasingly called,"my little Portuguese" because she had a dark complexion, as someone from Portugal might have. Therefore, Sonnets from the Portuguese seemed a suitable title.

The two were so happy and so much in love. They moved to Italy. Their love combined with the warm climate in Italy and Robert's strong love for Elizabeth helped her to regain her health. Elizabeth died in Florence in 1861. She was buried there. Robert lived until 1889.

She was once asked, "To whom do you owe your success?" She replied, "I had a friend." Elizabeth was referring to her friend, companion, and mentor - Robert Browning.

(Poems of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

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37266: Browning:  Selected Poems Browning: Selected Poems
By Penguin Classics

Robert Browning, a towering poetic presence of the Victorian era, was hailed by Henry James as a tremendous and incomparable modern. The sheer immediacy and colloquial energy of his poetry ensure enduring appeal. Browning paints landscapes both suburban and sublime, combines lyrics and demotic language, and introduces everyday events of the streets and marketplace into the rarified world of Victorian poetry. This edition includes examples from the early Dramatic Lyrics (1842) and Dramatic Romantics and Lyrics (1845); from the masterpieces Men and Women (1855) and Dramatis Personae (1864), and from the less familiar works of his later years. Together they convey the intensity, the lyric beauty, and the vitality of Browning's poetry.

416180: Sonnets from the Portuguese and Other Love Poems Sonnets from the Portuguese and Other Love Poems
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning / Random House, Inc

These love poems have long been considered the finest ever written by a woman in the English language, and their literary excellence is surpassed only by the sonnets of Shakespeare. First published in 1850, "Sonnets from the Portuguese" is composed of forty-four interlocking poems which Elizabeth had secretly written for her husband, Robert Browning. . .In addition to the forty-four sonnets there are twenty-two of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's other love poems included in this illustrated volume.

Photos courtesy Gutenberg.org Robert Browning Biography