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Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning: A Creative Partnership (The Nineteenth Century Series)
by:Mary Sanders Pollock
Examining the creative partnership of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, this volume provides a critical analysis of the poems written by this famous couple during the 16 year period of their friendship, courtship and marriage. First attracted to each other by similarities in their poetry, the Brownings were both scholarly poets, and continually...
Examining the creative partnership of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, this volume provides a critical analysis of the poems written by this famous couple during the 16 year period of their friendship, courtship and marriage. First attracted to each other by similarities in their poetry, the Brownings were both scholarly poets, and continually experimented with versification. Through their famous courtship correspondence of 1845-46, this cerebral attraction developed into creative exchange, erotic passion, and a reciprocal professional partnership. Pollock shows how, against the critical tide of the time, Elizabeth Barrett Browning became Robert Browning's most sympathetic reader and his most astute critic-and how in return, Robert Browning encouraged his wife to challenge the "poetess" stereotype by writing about the public sphere, and to risk critical censure by commenting honestly in her work about the real lives of men and women. Even quite early in their relationship, the Brownings shared a frame of reference: similar themes, narrative structures, and details of phrasing resonate in their works and suggest dialogue, rather than merely mutual influence. Pollock traces parallels between the Brownings' lives and works even before they met, and then throughout their courtship and married life, suggesting that their creative dialogue continued after Barrett Browning died in 1861, as her presence and themes continued to inform Browning's poetry for at least a decade afterward.
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