The History of Literature #95 – The Runaway Poets – The Triumphant Love Story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning


Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861) was one of the most prolific and accomplished poets of the Victorian age, an inspiration to Emily Dickensen, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, and countless others. And yet, her life was full of cloistered misery, as her father insisted that she should never marry. And then, the clouds lifted, and a letter arrived. It was from the poet Robert Browning (1812-1889), admiring her from afar, declaring his love.  How did these two poets find each other? What kind of life did they share afterwards? And what dark secrets had led to her father’s restrictions…and how might that have affected his daughter’s poetry? Host Jacke Wilson takes a look at the story of the Brownings.



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Show Notes: 

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Music Credits:

Handel – Entrance to the Queen of Sheba” by Advent Chamber Orchestra (From the Free Music Archive / CC by SA).

“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” and “Piano Between” by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.