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Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning Marriage Profile

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Elizabeth and Robert Browning's love for one another overcame her father's disapproval of their relationship, her illness, and her concern about being six years older than Robert. Here is information about the marriage of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Born:

Elizabeth Moulton-Barrett Browning: March 6, 1806 in Durham, England.

Robert Browning: May 7, 1812 in Camberwell, England.

Died:

Elizabeth: Elizabeth died in her husband's arms on June 29, 1861 at the age of 55 in Florence, Italy. Elizabeth was buried in the English Cemetery of Florence, Italy. After Elizabeth's death, Robert never returned to their home in Florence.

Robert: December 12, 1889 at the age of 77 at his son's home in Venice, Italy. Robert wanted to be buried next to Elizabeth, but when he died, the cemetery in Florence was closed. Robert was buried in the Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey in England.

How Robert and Elizabeth Met:

After first writing to Elizabeth in January 1845 and telling her that he loved her, Robert was able to meet her in person later in the year. During their courtship of 20 months, Elizabeth and Robert exchanged nearly 600 letters.
"EBB [Elizabeth Barrett Browning] preserved her letters from RB [Robert Browning] in a collapsible leather case, dark green in colour with gold-tooling."
Source: Browning Research Guide.

"RB preserved his letters from EBB in a marquetry box."
Source: Browning Research Guide

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Wedding Date:

Elizabeth's father didn't want any of his children to get married. After Elizabeth and Robert's elopement, Elizabeth's father never spoke to her again. Elizabeth and Robert were secretly married at St. Marylebone Parish Church on September 12, 1846. Elizabeth's maid, Wilson, was at the wedding ceremony.

Robert and Elizabeth left for Italy on September 19, 1846.

Children:

Robert and Elizabeth had one son.
  • Robert "Pen" Wiedemann Barrett Browning: Born on March 9, 1849 in Italy, he died in July 1912 at the age of 63 in Italy.

Residence:

Throughout their marriage, Robert and Elizabeth lived in Florence, Italy at Casa Guidi.

Occupations:

Quotes About the Marriage of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

"The years in Florence were among the happiest for both of them. Her love for him was demonstrated in the Sonnets from the Portuguese, and to her he dedicated Men and Women, which contains his best poetry."
Source: "Browning Family: An Inventory of Their Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center."

Elizabeth: "I admire such qualities as he has —- fortitude, integrity. I loved him for his courage in adverse circumstances which were yet felt by him more literally than I could feel them. Always he has had the greatest power over my heart, because I am of those weak women who reverence strong men."
Source: Esther Lombardi. "Love and the Brownings." ClassicLit.about.com.

Frederic G. Kenyon: "In the difficult circumstances under which they were placed, the conduct of both was without reproach. Mr. Browning knew that he was asking to be allowed to take charge of an invalid's life—believed indeed that she was even worse than was really the case, and that she was hopelessly incapacitated from ever standing on her feet—but was sure enough of his love to regard that as no obstacle. Miss Barrett, for her part, shrank from burdening the life of the man she loved with a responsibility so trying and perhaps so painful, and refused his unchanging devotion for his sake, not for her own."
Source: Frederic G. Kenyon. The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

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