|The Browning Letters
This is an unparalleled collection of correspondence written and received by the Victorian poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Featuring materials from the collection of the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University and the holdings of Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, the letters in this collection are browsable and searchable by date, author, and first line of text. The project is funded in part by the Bob and Anna Wright Endowed Fund.
The Baylor-Wellesley Collaboration
This collection is presented as a partnership between the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University and Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Both institutions are home to significant collections of Browningiana and are collaborating in an effort to make the compelling love story of the two poets available to scholars and enthusiasts around the globe. This initial project will continue to grow as more Browning letters are digitized from each institution’s collections.
The enduring jewel of the English Poetry Collection, largest of the Wellesley Special Collections, is the original love letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett. Their exchange of 585 letters began on 10 January 1845, with a letter addressed to “dear Miss Barrett” and continued until a week after their marriage, ending with Elizabeth’s note to Robert as they arranged to leave England and travel to Italy [18 September 1846]. The love letters of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning are among the most famous in literary history and provide significant insights into the lives, thoughts, and works of both poets.
The Armstrong Browning Library of Baylor University (ABL) is a world-renowned repository of research materials devoted to the study of the lives and works of the Victorian poets, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. ABL houses the largest collection of books, manuscripts, and memorabilia related to the Brownings, as well as a substantial collection of materials on and from the Victorian era. The letters in the ABL collections range from sources that offer literary impact to seemingly insignificant social notes, but each item gives a unique perspective on the lives of two eminent Victorian poets.
Baylor University is asking other research centers and universities to join in the initiative by adding digitized versions of their own Browning materials. Contact the Director of the Armstrong Browning Library for further information.
About the Brownings
Robert Browning (1812-1889)
From his birth on May 7, 1812, Robert Browning was acknowledged to be a very clever child; he had aspired to be a poet from his earliest days in the south London village of Camberwell. His parents supported him in this endeavor until he was in his thirties and married Elizabeth Barrett. He was always true to his vocation but received little public appreciation until the publication of The Ring and the Book in 1868-1869, when he was in his fifties. more...
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, christened Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett, was born on March 6, 1806, into a wealthy family whose fortune came from Jamaican sugar plantations. Her childhood was spent very happily at Hope End, the family’s stately home in Herefordshire, England. The eldest of twelve children, Elizabeth was something of a child prodigy; she was highly intelligent, dedicated, and determined to become a poet. more...
For More Information
Read the complete "love letters" correspondence in plain text, chronological form as published in the 1900 publication, "The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, 1845-1846." Digital version provided via Project Gutenberg. (www.gutenberg.org)
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This collection is considered an active collection. Items will be added periodically as they are acquired by Baylor University and processed through the Digitization Projects Group.