Elizabeth Barrett Browning began writing as a young girl in Durham, England. Despite a nervous collapse, a period of grief occasioned by the untimely deaths of two brothers, and a lifetime of illness, she continued to write poetry and essays about politics and social injustices, eventually becoming one of the greatest writers of the Victorian Era. In 1846 she eloped to Florence, Italy, with Robert Browning, to whom she dedicated her best-known book, Sonnets from the Portuguese.
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