Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Sonnets from the Portuguese

(1791 words)
  • Maggie Cotto

First published in 1850, Sonnets from the Portuguese is a sequence of 44 love sonnets written secretly by Elizabeth Barrett in 1845-6 during her courtship with fellow poet Robert Browning. The two married in September 1846, yet the reluctant Mrs. Browning did not present these passionate poems to her husband until three years later. At this time, he insisted on their publication in the second edition of Barrett Browning's book Poems. He later explained, “I dared not keep to myself the finest Sonnets written in any language since Shakespeare's”. Browning himself suggested the title Sonnets from the Portuguese to give the impression that the work was a translation so that its very intimate nature would be somewhat …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Cotto, Maggie. "Sonnets from the Portuguese". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 July 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1939, accessed 08 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. The Sonnet Tradition