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September 12, 2002

A Secret Marriage

Those letter-writing lovesick poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning, were wed today in 1846. Barrett's father forbid his eleven children to ever marry - so when Elizabeth eloped with Robert, he disowned her and never acknowledged her existence again. Her brothers took the same stance, though her sisters soon came around.

Dunderheads. What a terrible, hypocritical demand, to forbid one's own children a chance at the happiness of marriage and family. Barrett rebelled against her father at the age of 39 - an age where she was considered a spinster at least a decade before. Here's to true love, to literary passion, fueled by nearly 600 letters and the poems they wrote for each other.

Yours, &c., LC | 06:35 PM | Writing & Language