Saturday, March 06, 2010
Saturday Meditations - or things to think about.
As you go out and about today - remember to breathe, think about positive things, and try to be happy.
“Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.” —Zig Zigler
Happy Birthday to Elizabeth Barrett Browning/wiki 'Who Said Love Was Easy?"
The courtship and marriage between Robert Browning and Elizabeth were carried out secretly. Six years his elder and an invalid, she could not believe that the vigorous and worldly Browning really loved her as much as he professed to, and her doubts are expressed in the Sonnets from the Portuguese, which she wrote over the next two years. Love conquered all, however, and, after a private marriage at St. Marylebone Parish Church, Browning imitated his hero Shelley by spiriting his beloved off to Italy in August 1846, which became her home almost continuously until her death. Elizabeth's loyal nurse, Wilson, who witnessed the marriage at the church, accompanied the couple to Italy and became at service to them.
Mr. Barrett disinherited Elizabeth, as he did for each of his children who married: “The Mrs. Browning of popular imagination was a sweet, innocent young woman who suffered endless cruelties at the hands of a tyrannical papa but who nonetheless had the good fortune to fall in love with a dashing and handsome poet named Robert Browning. She finally escaped the dungeon of Wimpole Street, eloped to Italy, and lived happily ever after.”
As Elizabeth had inherited some money of her own, the couple were reasonably comfortable in Italy, and their relationship together was content. The Brownings were well respected in Italy and they would be asked for autographs or stopped by people because of their celebrity. Elizabeth grew stronger, and, in 1849, at the age of 43, she gave birth to a son, Robert Wiedemann Barrett Browning, who they called Pen. Their son later married but had no legitimate children, so there are apparently no direct descendants of the two famous poets. However, it is rumoured that the areas around Florence are peopled with his descendants.
At her husband's insistence, the second edition of Elizabeth’s Poems included her love sonnets; these increased her popularity and high critical regard so that she cemented her position as favourite Victorian poetess. Upon William Wordsworth's death in 1850, she was a serious contender to become Poet Laureate, but the position went to Tennyson.