Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Biography Essay

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Biography

Throughout the course of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s life, poetry played the hand of fate. All of the major events that took place in her life seem to coincide with her poetry. Poetry made her famous. It gave her solace, and comfort, somewhere to drown her sorrow. It introduced her to her husband, and (indirectly) divorced her from her father. Poetry was not only a part of her life, but an integral part of her soul.

Creative Beginnings

It all began in Gosforth Church, with the marriage of Mary Graham Clarke, and Robert Moulton. Soon after their marriage, Edward Moulton inherited his family’s sugar plantations in Jamaica, and took on the name Barrett. Their first daughter was born on March
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Her father published it privately in 1820. She also began keeping a diary around the age of twelve, entitled “Memorandum Book Containing Day and Night thoughts of Elizabeth Barrett”. It is composed of around one thousand words and “. . . it ranges in subjects discussed from the doctrine of innate ideas to the writer’s own character. To read the diary is to see that at the age of twelve she had already developed the intensity that distinguished her mature style” (Radley 15). Her childhood diary is presently kept in the rare books room in Wellesley College.

A Tragic Flaw

As stated by Elizabeth Barrett’s own hand, quoted from her diary, “. . .I am very passionate but impatience is my ruling passion. I can confess without shame and I am willing to repent and I can forgive without malice but impatience leads me into more faults that I can repent . . .”

Elizabeth was a relatively healthy girl until 1815. Her tragic flaw came into play when she grew impatient as she was waiting for someone to assist her in saddling her pony. While trying to saddle the pony, she fell backward, with the saddle landing on top of her. This event changed the rest of her life. For a long time, she was expected to stay bedridden after she was diagnosed with disease of the spine. This was the first of many illnesses that would plague her for
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