Publication Date: January 14, 2003
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Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning are without parallel in the nineteenth century: celebrated poets, they became equally famous for their marriage. Still popular more than a century after their deaths, their poetry vividly reflects the unique nature of their relationship.
This collection presents the Brownings’ work in the context of their lives: the early years and their initial friendship, their courtship and marriage, the fifteen happy years they spent living in Italy until Elizabeth’s death. Whether in short poems such as Elizabeth’s “Hector in the Garden” and Robert’s “Natural Magic,” or in extracts from longer works such as Aurora Leigh and Pauline, the great themes they shared are all represented: love, marriage, illicit passion, England and Italy, childhood, religion, poetry, and nature. Elizabeth’s famous Sonnets from the Portuguese, based on their love affair, is included in its entirety.
The poems are augmented with a generous selection of the marvelous letters the Brownings wrote to each other.
In 1846 Robert Browning married a fellow poet, Elizabeth Barrett, eloping with her to Italy where they lived until Elizabeth's death in 1861. He them returned to England to live with his only sister Sarianna, but later he went back to Italy, where he died at the Rezzonico Palace in Venice.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime.
Robert Browning (1812-1889) was an English poet and playwright. A master of dramatic monologues, he is considered one of the foremost Victorian poets.