On this day in 1846 Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browning.
Browning’s volume Poems (1844) brought her great success. During this time she met and corresponded with the writer Robert Browning, who admired her work.
The courtship and marriage between the two were carried out in secret, for fear of her father’s disapproval. Following the wedding she was disinherited by her father and rejected by her brothers. The couple moved to Italy in 1846, where she would live for the rest of her life.
They had one son, Robert Barrett Browning, whom they called Pen. Towards the end of her life, her lung function worsened, and she died in Florence in 1861. A collection of her last poems was published by her husband shortly after her death.
Browning was brought up in a strongly religious household, and much of her work carries a Christian theme.
Her work had a major influence on prominent writers of the day, including the American poets Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson.
She is remembered for such poems as “How Do I Love Thee?” (Sonnet 43, 1845) and Aurora Leigh (1856).