To be honest, I'm kinda surprised you haven't asked my opinion about this important development.
So, I convinced Charlotte to come down there with me. She hid her left hand behind her back and acted shy the whole time, but she actually laughed when I stuffed her purse with a s***load of cookies. I swear I've never seen her laugh before.
Ahuh. Well don't pick out too much for yourselves in case this whole thing backfires somehow.
And George? What's happening with him?
He came to visit us today. Well, maybe not me, but for sure Charlotte. He brought her the book of poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Elizabeth was educated at home, and was an extensive reader from an early age, indulging in Shakespeare plays and other classic works. By the age of twelve, she had written a major poem consisting of four books of rhyming verses.
At the age of fifteen Elizabeth became ill with headaches and back pain that would persist for the rest of her life. Soon after, lung problems arose, perhaps tuberculosis.
In 1838 her first book of adult poems was published, gaining her much attention, and until 1844 she produced a vast collection of poems and prose. She also became active in the Missionary communities of her church. Elizabeth also opposed slavery and her work helped influence reforms to the child labour legislation of the 19th century.
Success brought with it the attention of the writer Robert Browning, and then love. Because Elizabeth's father was incredibly strict, her marriage to Browning was carried out in secret. It turns out her fears were warranted - when her father discovered her marriage, he disinherited her.
In 1846, the couple decided to move to Italy where Elizabeth would remain the rest of her life. The couple produced one son, Robert Barrett Browning, whom they called Pen. Elizabeth died in Florence in 1861.
How is Elizabeth Barrett Browning best remembered? Many would say by her poem, "How Do I Love Thee?" written in 1845 and first published in 1850.
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 ideal grace
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle light.
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.