No Marshmallows, Just Term Papers
Professor Leslie Fintz
22 October 2012
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a British poet who was greatly influenced by her husband Robert Browning. Although she had been writing before she met Robert Browning he was a huge inspiration for her poetry. Prior to meeting Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning would write poetry about social and aesthetic issues. After meeting and marrying Robert Browning those issues soon diminished from her writing.
Her best known book which is “Sonnets from the Portuguese” was dedicated to her husband. Portuguese was a nickname Robert Browning called Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Another piece of literature that was influenced by her husband Robert Browning was “Elizabeth’s Poems”. These poems were created to help women balance work and love.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born March 6, 1806 in Durham, England. Barrett’s family was wealthy and her father owned sugar plantations in Jamaica.(467) Edward Moulton-Barrett and Mary Graham Clarke had eleven surviving children. The Barrett family consisted of three girls and eight boys. Although their father forbid them to marry, he did encourage education and learning. Edward Moulton Barrett believed in his daughter Elizabeth’s work so much that he secretly published one of her poems The Battle of the Marathon when she was fourteen.(236)
In 1821 Barrett suffered from twitching muscles, headaches, side pains, and general discomfort. The doctors could not diagnose Elizabeth’s condition. Barrett was told that she had a spinal condition. Even through her illness and physical problems Barrett continued to write poetry. Barrett published many poems but did so anonymously. Barrett’s poems had a lot to do with social and political issues at this time. The first book she published using her name was The Seraphim, and Other Poems.(236)
Later on in life, Barrett suffered some horrible losses. In 1828 her mother died, and in 1832 the...