Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Page 5 of 9

Table Of Contents: Lives of Girls Who Became Famous

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

The sister, who had seen her brother sink before her eyes, was utterly prostrated. She blamed herself for his death, because he came to Torquay for her comfort. All winter long she heard the sound of waves ringing in her ears like the moans of the dying. From this time forward she never mentioned her brother's name, and later, exacted from Mr. Browning a promise that the subject should never be broached between them.

The following year she was removed to London in an invalid carriage, journeying twenty miles a day. And then for seven years, in a large darkened room, lying much of the time upon her couch, and seeing only a few most intimate friends, the frail woman lived and wrote. Books more than ever became her solace and joy. Miss Mitford says, "She read almost every book worth reading, in almost every language, and gave herself heart and soul to that poetry of which she seem born to be the priestess." When Dr. Barry urged that she read light books, she had a small edition of Plato bound so as to resemble a novel, and the good man was satisfied. She understood her own needs better than he.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

When she was twenty-nine, she published The Seraphim and Other Poems. The Seraphim was a reverential description of two angels watching the Crucifixion. Though the critics saw much that was strikingly original, they condemned the frequent obscurity of meaning and irregularity of rhyme. The next year, The Romaunt of the Page and other ballads appeared, and in 1844, when she was thirty-five, a complete edition of her poems, opening with the Drama of Exile. This was the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden, the first scene representing "the outer side of the gate of Eden shut fast with cloud, from the depth of which revolves a sword of fire self-moved. Adam and Eve are seen in the distance flying along the glare."

In one of her prefaces she said: "Poetry has been to me as serious a thing as life itself,--and life has been a very serious thing; there has been no playing at skittles for me in either. I never mistook pleasure for the final cause of poetry, nor leisure for the hour of the poet. I have done my work, so far, as work,--not as mere hand and head work, apart from the personal being, but as the completest expression of that being to which I could attain,--and as work I offer it to the public, feeling its shortcomings more deeply than any of my readers, because measured from the height of my aspiration; but feeling also that the reverence and sincerity with which the work was done should give it some protection from the reverent and sincere."

While the Drama of Exile received some adverse criticism, the shorter poems became the delight of thousands. Who has not held his breath in reading the Rhyme of the Duchess May?--

Page 5 of 9 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004