Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(1806 - 1861)

At the age of twelve, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote her first epic poem after studying Paradise Lost and The Tempest. Her family owned sugar plantations in Jamaica; books serves as an escape from the busy privilege of wealthy life in England. She began taking morphine to treat a spinal injury at the age of fifteen, and the rest of her life was measured in fits of illness and literary inspiration. She wrote Aurora Leigh, her long narrative poem, in 1857; decades later Virginia Woolf would rescue the work from obscurity, saying that the poem’s protagonist, “with her passionate interest in social questions, her conflict as artist and woman, her longing for knowledge and freedom, is the true daughter of her age.”

All Writing

How many desolate creatures on the earth have learnt the simple dues of fellowship and social comfort in a hospital.

—Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1857

Voices In Time

1843 | London

Outline and Shadow

“Do you know anything about that wonderful invention of the day, called the daguerreotype?”More

Issues Contributed