arrett Browning was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era, her work being popular in both the England and the United States. She was married to Robert Browning and the two lived in Italy after their marriage for much of the remainder of their lives. Barrett Browning is best known for ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’ and ‘Aurora Leigh’. Much of her work is centred on the theme of love.
Sonnets from the Portuguese (43) (written 1845)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Victorian Period – 1830-1901
Realism – 1830-1900
Naturalism – 1865-1900
Robert Browning (1812-1889)
obert Browning was one of the foremost Victorian English poets and playwrights. Browning was married to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and together they lived in Italy for much of their marriage. Browning’s work is characterised by his use of dramatic verse, especially the dramatic monologue. He is perhaps best known for his short poems, such as the one featured below, ‘Meeting At Night’.
Meeting At Night (published 1845)
The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
1851 – The year of the Great Exhibition in organised by Prince Albert, gathering together thousands of great scientists, inventors and artists from around the world.