Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Sonnets from the Portuguese

(1791 words)
  • Maggie Cotto (Stetson University )

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 …

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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 25 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. The Sonnet Tradition