5 Books That Have Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Wonderful Poems

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was arguably one of the greatest poets of her time, and these collections help prove it.

Book Culture Female Authors On This Day Poetry & Drama Recommendations
Oil painting of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a famous Victorian-Era poet who published over one hundred poems. She was so acclaimed that she was nominated as Poet Laureate in 1850. She was also the first woman ever nominated for this honor. Her works aren’t as well known as other contemporary poets, but they still deserve all the love. Here are five books that showcase Barrett Browning’s gorgeous poetry.

The Collected Poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

'The Collected Poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning' book cover with abstract images.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

This collection includes her love poems, such as the famous collection Sonnets From the Portuguese, religious and spiritual poetry, and political poems, such as The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point. She also wrote ballads, which are included here, and novel-length poems, such as Aurora Leigh. This selection strives to uncover Barrett Browning’s life as a poet, including her creative process, childhood ambitions, and ending only at her death. The collection also includes critical re-readings and suggestions for other poems and works.

Romances, Lyrics, and Sonnets From the Poetic Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

'Romances, Lyrics, and Sonnets From the Poetic Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning' book cover showing a colorful mountain and a person standing on it.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

She is perhaps best known for her love poems, many of which were written about her poet husband Robert Browning. This collection shows her passionate works, as well as gives readers a peek into Barret Browning’s mind by showing her romantic nature as well as her skill with the written word. These works were selected as culturally significant ones, ones that should be not only preserved but also made available to the public. It’s perfect for those of a more romantic nature.

Casa Guidi Windows: A Poem

'Casa Guidi Windows: A Poem' book cover showing a shot of a building from an alley.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

Barret Browning lived in an apartment in Italy that she called the Casa Guidi. From here, she witnessed the Risorgimento, a movement for Italian reunification. This inspired her to write, and this work is split into two parts. The first is an optimistic poem about the struggle to stop Austrian domination. In contrast, the second part — written three years later — is a more somber work about how the Risorgimento will be a lengthy and difficult process and one that may not even work.

Aurora Leigh

'Aurora Leigh' book cover showing two women, one hiding in shadows and the other standing in the light.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

This is an epic, book-length book centered on protagonist Aurora, with her story taking place in Florence, Malvern, London, and Paris, and Marian Erle, an abused, self-taught child. The poem is separated into nine books. Aurora narrates the first five, talking about her childhood and up until she turned 27, and she reports events in the last four books in diary form. Barrett Browning used her knowledge of not only Hebrew and Greek but also referenced novels of the time to help write this long poem.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Much-Loved Poems from One of the Greatest Romantic Poets

'Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Much-Loved Poems from One of the Greatest Romantic Poets' book cover showing a pink blooming flower.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

This is a collection of some of Barrett Browning’s most famous works, and it shows her passion, wit, and conscience through carefully selected poetry. She was a woman who wanted to speak her mind about everything she could despite living in a society that wanted women to do the opposite. One poem included is A Curse for a Nation, which is a powerful work speaking out against the slave trade as part of her advocacy work to abolish slavery.

Barrett Browning was an incredible poet, and her poems are still relevant and relatable today. Her work deserves far greater notoriety than she’s given,s o pick up these amazingly insightful poems from a talented wordsmith.


For more articles on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, click here.

Check out the Poetry shelf on Bookstr’s Bookshop page!

FEATURED IMAGE VIA THE BROWNING CORRESPONDENCE