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Elizabeth Barrett Browning Timeline

1806----> Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett born March 6 at Coxhoe Hall, County Durham, to Edward Barrett Moulton-Barrett and the former Mary Graham Clarke.

1809----> Moved to “Hope End” in Herefordshire with parents, brother Edward, and sisters Henrietta and Mary.

1810----> Eight more children born into the family of Barrett to bring the total to twelve, eleven survived to reach maturity at Wimpole Street.

1814----> Elizabeth’s initial efforts at poetry probably were exerted at ages four and six but surely by age eight.

1815----> Elizabeth went to Paris with her parents for a visit.

1818----> Kept juvenile diary of daily happenings and observations on her own character development.

1820----> The Battle of Marathon, early poem privately printed by her father. Probably composed two years earlier when she was twelve. Seven of the original copies are extant.


1822----> First serious illness diagnosed as a “nervous disorder” by Dr.Coker, who prescribed opium; the drug induced a habit that remained with her throughout her life.


1823----> At work on An Essay On Mind with Other Poems.

1825----> First poem (other than private publication), “The Rose and Zephyr,” appeared in the Literary Gazette, November 19. Corresponding with Hugh Stuart Boyd.

1826----> An Essay On Mind with Other Poems published by James Duncan, London.


1832----> Father’s fortunes declined; necessitated move from Hope End to Sidmouth, Devonshire, in August, 1832.

1828----> Met H. S. Boyd, who influenced and guided Classical studies. Mother, Mary Graham Clarke, died in October.

1833----> Prometheus Bound... and Miscellaneous Poems published.

1835----> Autumn, Barretts left Sidmouth for London, to live until 1837 at Gloucester Place.

1836----> Cultivated friendships with John Kenyon and Mary Russell Mitford.

1837----> September, Barretts moved to Number 50 Wimpole Street, London.

1838----> The Seraphim and Other Poems. In August, Elizabeth moved to Torquay for her health, with Bro as companion; Henrietta and George accompanied her from time to time. Uncle Samuel Barrett died in Jamaica; legacy made Elizabeth financially independent.

1839----> January, a serious breakdown in health; given opium and brandy to quiet her nerves and induce sleep.

1840----> July, brother Samuel Barrett died in Jamaica. Favorite brother, “Bro,” drowned in Babbacombe Bay off Torquay, an incident which left Elizabeth prostrate; never fully recovered from it. Autumn, composed “Queen Annelida and False Arcite” for Richard Hengist Horne’s edition, The Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer Modernized. Worked on a drama, Psyche Apocalypte, which she never completed. Also composed “The Cry of the Children” (published in 1842) and “De Profundis” (published after her death).

1841----> September, left Torquay for London; rejoined family at Wimpole Street house.

1843----> Several well-known poems appeared, such as “The Dead Pan.”


1844----> Collaborated with R. H. Horne on A New Spirit of the Age.

1844----> Poems, in two volumes, published by Edward Moxon; also American edition with a critical introduction by Edgar Allan

1845----> January, received first letter from the poet Robert Browning; May, met him for the first time at Wimpole Street. Worked on Sonnets from the Portuguese.

1846----> September 12, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett married at Marylebone Church, London. Left a few days later for Paris; then went to Pisa in company with Mrs. Jameson and her daughter. Finally settled in Casa Guidi, Florence, Italy, their permanent home.


1848----> Elizabeth’s interest in Italian politics quickened; revered Cavour and Mazzini.

1849----> Robert Wiedeman Barrett-Browning (Pen) born in March. Elizabeth met Margaret Fuller Ossoli and family.

1850----> Mentioned in the Athenaeum as candidate for Poet Laureate. Poems in two volumes published by Chapman and Hall.


1851----> At work on Casa Guidi Windows, published in 1856; admired 1851 Louis Napoleon, interested in Spiritualism.


1859----> The Brownings traveled -Summers in England, trips to Paris, 1859 Bagni di Lucca, Venice, Siena, Rome-always returned to Florence.

1853----> Worked steadily on Aurora Leigh, published in 1856.

1856----> John Kenyon died; left the Brownings eleven hundred pounds as a legacy.

1857----> Father died unreconciled with his daughter.

1860----> Poems Before Congress. Death of Henrietta Barrett (Mrs. Surtees Cook).

1861----> Health deteriorated throughout the year; died at Florence. Burial in the old Protestant Cemetery, Florence.

1862----> “De Profundis” published in Last Poems by Chapman and Hall.

1913----> “A True Dream” published in The Enchantress and Other Poems, available in TheCornhill Magazine, Vol. XXXVII (July, 1914).


Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Radley, Virginia L

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