Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Selected Poems

Overview

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.

Bloomsbury Poetry Classics are selections from the work of some of our greatest poets. The series is aimed at the general reader rather than the specialist and carries no critical or explanatory...
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Overview

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.

Bloomsbury Poetry Classics are selections from the work of some of our greatest poets. The series is aimed at the general reader rather than the specialist and carries no critical or explanatory apparatus. This can be found elsewhere. In the series the poems introduce themselves, on an uncluttered page and in a format that is both attractive and convenient. The selections have been made by the distinguished poet, critic, and biographer Ian Hamilton.

This illuminating biography of the great Victorian poet is based on recent discoveries of hundreds of letters and personal papers. Contrary to her classic image, Browning was not an unhappy invalid; Forster reveals for the first time the truth of Browning's magnificent life.

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Editorial Reviews

Victorian Studies
The array of works offered is a rich one, from the religious to the romantic, the sentimental to the socially astute... In providing as representative a sample as possible without including the prefaces or extracts from the longer poems, Forster has succeeded admirably.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Forster's ( William Makepeace Thackeray , etc.) provocative biography offers arresting new information on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, her family and associates. The author gleaned a wealth of material from the voluminous Philip Kelley collection of Barrett/Browning letters, several predating her subject's birth in 1806. ``Ba'' was the first of 11 surviving children born to Edward and Mary Barrett. On the evidence, it was a close, caring family and remained so after the grievous blow of Mary's death in 1828. Forster poses intriguing questions about Elizabeth's treatment as an invalid and on injustices done to Edward. Afraid of losing the father she loved and needed, she lied to him about Robert Browning's courtship; and also to Robert, claiming that Edward kept her a prisoner, in isolation. He would have accepted the marriage, Forster suggests, but never forgave the couple after they eloped and fled to Italy. The book covers their 15-year marriage and Robert Browning's life with their son after his wife died in 1861. This biography is an invaluable addition to the record of the great Victorian romance. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
YA-- Forster's biography presents a much fuller picture of Elizabeth Barrett Browning than was ever possible before, as it draws on hundreds of newly discovered letters and a diary written by the poet at age 26. The generous use of these sources creates a portrait of Browning that brims with life. Ever the reclusive scholar and invalid, fully prepared to trade love and marriage for the joys of the intellectual life, Elizabeth Barrett and her liason with Robert Browning at the age of 40 are legendary. The Victorian standards of life, including conditions for women and the literary climate of the times, are also revealed in this highly readable biography.-- Keddy Outlaw, Harris County Public Library, Houston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801837548
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1979
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 953,864
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.91 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in 1806. A semi-invalid for most of her early live, she won a great reputation with the appearance of her Poems (1844). The book attracted the admiration of Robert Browning, who secretly courted her for two years before the couple's celebrated elopement to Italy in 1846. In Italy, Elizabeth's health improved; she threw herself into European politics and wrote what is perhaps her best-known work, Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850). She died in 1861, and her Last Poems appeared in that same year.
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