Elizabeth Barrett Browning Essay

Elizabeth Barrett Browning Essay

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in 1806 in County Durham, England. She was the eldest of twelve children born to Edward Barrett Moulin Barrett and Mary Graham Clarke. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, or "Ba", grew up in her family’s estate Hope End, Henfordshire. They were part of the upper-middle class, owning a successful sugar trade.

Elizabeth began writing at a very early age. When she was twelve her father had her first epic poem "The Battle of Marathon" privately printed (Radley 15). She referred to this work as "Pope’s Homer done over again, or rather undone" (28). Her diary at this time in her life offered glimpses into her perceptive and expressive writing style.

Three years later she became continuously ill. A doctor diagnosed her with a "nervous disorder" and gave her opium to ease her mind. She became a habitual user of opium throughout her life (17).

In 1825 she published her first poem called "The Rose and Zephyr". It was published in the November 19th issue of the "Literary Gazette". Two years later her father’s business took a turn for the worse. The family was forced to move out of the Hope End estate and to Sidmouth, Devonshire. During this period of financial trouble Elizabeth’s mother suddenly died. Elizabeth became her father’s close friend and confidant. He relied on Elizabeth a great deal. He forbade his daughter to marry because he relied on her so much.

In the years following her mother’s passing, Elizabeth had more of her works published. "An Essay a Mind with Other Poems", translations of Aeschylus "Prometheus Bound...and Miscellaneous Poems", and The Seraphim and Other Poems were published. The Seraphim was the first work published by Elizabeth in her name. T...


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... and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1845-1846 (1969) Edited by Elvan Kintner, two volumes.
Diary by E. B. B.: The Unpublished Diary of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1831-1832 (1969) Edited by Philip Kelley and Ronald Hudson.
Invisible Friends (1972) The Correspondence of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1842-1845. Edited by Willard Bissell Pope.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Letters to Mrs. David Ogilvy, 1849-1861 (1973) Edited by Peter N. Heydon and Philip Kelley.
Anthology Prometheus Bound (1833) Translated from the Greek of Aeschylus

(from the Academy of American Poets: http://www.poets.org/poets/poets.cfm?prmID=153)

Useful Links

The Victorian Web’s Elizabeth Barrett Browning Site:
http://65.107.211.206/victorian/ebb/browningov.html

Erin’s Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning Website:
http://www.cswnet.com/~erin/browning.htm

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