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Elizabeth Barrett Browning was the oldest of the twelve children of the posessive Edward Barett Moulton-Barrett and his wife Mary.  She began writing poetry early in life and by 1838 had published three volumes.  Her famous courtship by the poet Robert Browning was expressed in numerous letters and her popular Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850). Barrett held progressive views which were expressed in her later poems which were often concerned with political and social issues.

Spender, D, Todd, J, 1990, Anthology of British women writers from the Middle Ages to the present day, London, Pandora,pp.465-466

Library resources

On our shelves:

In the following collections:

  • Ogborn, J, 2003, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in Three Victorian poets, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 78-105.


  • The Love letters of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning

You may care to also read or refer to the Marget Forster novel Lady's maid.  This retells, from the story of Elizabeth Wilton, lady's maid to Elizabeth Browning, and her role in the "most famous elopement in history".


 eReserve Poems

 Reference resources

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 General encyclopedia:

  • Encyclopadia Britannica - Micropedia
  • World Book Encyclopedia

Subject reference:

  • The Oxford companion to English Literature


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