Literature Links to Ledbury – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Born on the 6th March 1806, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a Victorian era English poet. She grew up at Hope End, Ledbury, where her father converted a Georgian house into a lavish mansion that inspired Elizabeth when writing ‘Aurora Leigh’. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote poetry from the age of 11 (her mother’s collection of her works is the largest juvenilia collection of any English writer!) and throughout her life she campaigned for the abolition of slavery and amendment of the child labour legislation. Her 1844 volume ‘Poems’ was successful and caught the attention of Robert Browning who she later married in secrecy (resulting in being disinherited by her father). ON 9th June 1861, Elizabeth Barrett Browning died of a chronic lung disease. Not only is she remembered through The Armstrong Browning Library in Texas, which contains memorabilia of her and her family, but also through the beautiful clocktower of Ledbury; in 1892, Ledbury held a designing competition to create an Institute for Elizabeth, resulting in the clocktower. The Barrett Browning Institute is now the home of Ledbury Poetry since 2020.

Ledbury Poetry Festival Event Monday 3rd July from 7-8pm on Elizabeth Barrett Browning with Don Patterson, Dinah Roe, Fiona Sampson, and Claire Armitstead. Book tickets here: What’s On – Ledbury Poetry

Works:

  • Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • The Collected Poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Wordsworth Poetry Library)
  • Available from all good book stores or bookshop.org
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