Elizabeth Barrett-Browning is buried in the English cemetery in Piazzale
Donatello, Florence, Italy, Europe.
Tomb of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning.
here are Arthur Hugh Clough and Walter Savage Landor.
Elizabeth grew up at Hope End, in the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire.
She had a happy childhood and was precociously intelligent - undertaking
translations of Homer at the age of 8.
Following a riding accident, which made her an invalid, her family
moved to 50 Wimpole Street in London in 1838. It was here that she first met fellow poet Robert Browning on May 20th
1845. They soon fell in love and began to correspond
regularly. However, her tyrannical father would not allow her to marry - so in 1846 she and
Browning famously eloped. Elizabeth left England accompanied by
her maid Wilson and with her beloved spaniel, Flush.
couple reached Italy in October 1846 and set up residence at to Casa Guidi in Florence
where she lived until her death in 1861. In 1849 Elizabeth gave
birth to a son - who was always known by the nickname Pen.
Portrait of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning
by Michele Gordigiani
During her lifetime she was held in higher regard than
Browning. She was even tipped to succeed
William Wordsworth as poet laureate in 1850.
Her major works include Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850) (written for
Casa Guido Windows (1851) on Italian liberation, her verse novel Aurora Leigh
(1857), Poems before Congress (1860) and Last Poems -
published posthumously in 1862.
She died in the arms of her
husband, after 15 years of happy marriage, on the morning of June 29 1861.
Her tomb was designed by
Lord Leighton and was built by Luigi Giovannozzi.
|How do I love thee? Let me
count the ways.
|I love thee to the depth
and breadth and height
|My soul can reach, when
feeling out of sight
|For the ends of Being and
|I love thee to the level of
|Most quiet need, by sun and
|I love thee freely, as men
strive for Right;
|I love thee purely, as they
turn from Praise.
|I love thee with the
passion put to use
|In my old griefs, and with
my childhood's faith.
|I love thee with a love I
seemed to lose
|With my lost saints, - I
love thee with the breath,
|Smiles, tears, of all my
life! - and, if God choose,
|I shall but love thee
better after death.
from Sonnets from the Portuguese