Talk:Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

WikiProject Biography Assessment

Close to being a B, but could use citations, references, and certainly could be longer.

The article may be improved by following the WikiProject Biography 11 easy steps to producing at least a B article. -- Yamara 04:38, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Early Life[edit]

"Elizabeth was very close to her siblings while playing the maternal role..."

What happened to their mother? I gather she must have died at some point after giving birth to the twelfth child, but when and how? Also, it isn't clear when the family returned to England. Another biography says she was the first in her family in a long time to be born in England. Ileanadu (talk) 18:04, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

The recent (8 April 2008) change to the Literary Significance section of EBB's page seem quite idiosyncratic and indeed hostile. Who are the "many well-respected literary critics who question" the assessment today of her as one of the great English poets? Many more in the last two decades have championed the idea that her work was and has continued to be influential, with, for example, more poems by her included in anthologies (see Mermin and Tucker) and more serious commentary on her work, as recorded in _Victorian Poetry_'s "Year's Work" section. Too, fuller entries in reference works such as the DNB and CBELL indicate the growing recognition of her literary importance. And a five-volume scholarly edition is underway for Pickering & Chatto (Donaldson, ed.), the first in over a century. The specific failings the contributor lists are personal opinions not shared by any other scholars that I'm aware of (Harold Bloom is a notorious exception). Terms like "overly sentimental," "in poor taste" (how can meter and rhyme be in poor taste?), and "slavish adherence" are inaccurate and/or impressionistic.Suzibear (talk) 18:01, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

How accurate is the Book/Film The Barrets of Wimpole Street---I just saw the Norma Shearer/Charles Laughton version from the 30s---Laughton is terrific as te tyrannical, unfeeling father. Is that an accurate portrayal? The article here makes him seem fairly innocuous...not to say benign.

Did she have tuberculosis? I thought it was some chronic bronchial diseaase that I forget the name of.--Marj 18:02, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It wasn't properly diagnosed at the time and what it was is still uncertain today. Some lung complaint but that's all we know. -- Derek Ross

When the article says, "Shortly afterwards the abolition of slavery, of which he had been a disinterested supporter, considerably reduced Mr. Barrett's means: he accordingly disposed of his estate and removed with his family first to Sidmouth and afterwards to London. " does it mean that Mr. Barrett was a disinterested supporter of abolition, or of slavery?Uncle Pavian


Non Sequitur[edit]

The main page says: "of which he had been a disinterested supporter, considerably reduced Mr. Barrett's means" but "disinterested" often means not having a financial interest. Perhaps it should read: "of which he had been an inactive supporter, considerably reduced Mr. Barrett's means." or "of which he had been an uninterested supporter, considerably reduced Mr. Barrett's means" 24.8.160.40 01:35, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Just thought I'd let you know that disinterested actually refers to impartiality. 09:59, 28 October 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.216.30.233 (talk)

Bibliography[edit]

I have today added two scholarly items to the See Also section. I know of no "standard" biography of E.B.B., but clearly an entry is needed for this. Also, I question whether it is worth mentioning Flush at all since it is clearly not a port of call for a reader principally interested in insights into E.B.B. herself. It's more the sort of thing to mention in a Trivia section. Sordel 08:39, 29 August 2006 (UTC)poop

Major cleanup[edit]

I've just done a major cleanup of this article: previously the biography section had two biographies end-to-end, plus some other stuff not really suitable to be under this heading. I've tried to integrate the two biographies into one, and put some leftover material in a new section, but since I'm not personally familiar with all the details, whoever knows better please proof-read the result and fix any inadvertent errors that may have been introduced. Thanks!—Tetracube (talk) 20:11, 22 September 2008 (UTC)


I've had a go too. I've cleaned up the punctuation and writing not apt for an encyclopedic entry but it's still pretty horrible in parts. Most is without specific references. I'm not familiar with the details either - I just edited for readability, syntax and punctation. It wouldn't be hard to clean it up more, give a more scholarly tone and a bit of juice. It's dry dry dry at the moment, I think Spanglej (talk) 01:07, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Please refrain from punctating Wikipedia. It's spotty enough as it is. ;-) Unfree (talk) 03:41, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Refs[edit]

Have reduced tags to those at head of article - no need for tags to outnumber paragraphs in art. Added ref & bib section with a few refs to get ball rolling. Have at it Betty Browning fans.Tttom1 (talk) 04:11, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Article is the same, pretty much word for word, as the essay here: http://www.usp.nus.edu.sg/landow/victorian/authors/ebb/ebbio.html - by Glenn Everett, Associate Professor of English, University of Tennessee at Martin, and Jason B. Isaacs '93Tttom1 (talk) 05:29, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Hmph, apparently somebody copied-n-pasted the whole thing into the article, before I came along, unsuspecting, and merged it with the other biography (that also looked like it was copy-n-pasted from somewhere else). I kept it mostly verbatim except a few changes here and there to make things flow more smoothly. What do we do in such cases? I'm not sure this falls under fair use, since pretty much the entire article was quoted verbatim, and that without attribution.—Tetracube (talk) 01:05, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

This looks like pretty clear plagiarism, possibly a copyright violation. According to Wikipedia:Copyright problems: "Material whose presence on Wikipedia infringes copyright (ie. the material is not Public Domain, licensed under the GFDL or specifically licensed to Wikipedia on suitable terms) should, as a general rule, be removed." There is also a tag that blanks the entire page.Tttom1 (talk) 02:31, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I have added a tag that should get an administrator to look at the page and decide what to do.Tttom1 (talk) 02:43, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
The end section paragraphs from: "It is still unclear what..." thru "...the rest of her poetry" are cut & paste from Everett's pieceTttom1 (talk) 03:06, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
it is certainly not fair use. But I declined a tagging for speedy deletion as copyvio as it was not introduced at a single time, and there are very old noncopyvio versions. I've identified & blocked the person who--repeatedly--introduced the material discussed above. ( It can happen that such a copy is the other way round, but not this time, as the source does have an asserted date of 1987) -- The best solution is to rewrite it quickly--using the material in that article and some other sources as a reference. If nobody wants to do that, the best temporary solution would be to replace with a PD source, like the old EB. I don't like using the old EB, but it would do in an emergency. I'll come back tomorrow and check which, or remove at least the most recent copyvio leaving subsequent contributions. DGG (talk) 03:56, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Removed a couple more paragraphs that were cut & pastes from Everett article and added external link to that article.Tttom1 (talk) 23:42, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

This article states that Elizabeth Barrett Browning died on june 29.1861. She actually died on June 30, 1861. This really isn't a big mistake ,but this mistake can be easily corrected. (Thankyou) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.204.165.102 (talk) 02:33, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I think this article has a chance of passing GAR if the section on Publication can be cleaned up to give more info on the works and less on her life, and most of the info in that area is not cited at all. Mrathel (talk) 14:25, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Critical Reception[edit]

Something seems to be missing from the end of this sentence in the last paragraph:

"she believed that there was an inferiority of intellect in women and that women." Ileanadu (talk) 18:37, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Robert Browning[edit]

How can helping Elizabeth recover her social skills be considered an "undermining influence"? Unfree (talk) 03:25, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Became at service[edit]

"Elizabeth's loyal nurse, Wilson, who witnessed the marriage at the church, accompanied the couple to Italy and became at service to them." What does that mean? Unfree (talk) 03:35, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Last name[edit]

Why was Elizabeth's last name different from that of her father? "Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett was born... Her parents were Edward Barrett Moulton Barrett and Mary Graham-Clarke..." Unfree (talk) 03:56, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

It was never different: there is a typographical error, obviously. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.183.157.148 (talk) 00:37, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Extreme trivia[edit]

The Charlie Brown reference at the end of the article "sehr dumm und wertlos ist."Lestrade (talk) 17:27, 11 December 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

I agree. Such trivia always makes it way in at some point or another. I am sure there would be little objection if the fact were removed. Mrathel (talk) 19:06, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Influence of E.B.B. on Emily Dickinson[edit]

"Her poetry greatly influenced Emily Dickinson, who admired her as a woman of achievement."

Emily Dickinson certainly admired E.B.B. greatly, as a poet and "as a woman of achievement" She had a portrait of Elizabeth Barrett Browning on her wall,along with another one of George Eliot.

But I think it's not really accurate to say that "Her poetry" greatly influenced Emily Dickinson. E.Dickinson's poetry is totally original and certainly very different from that of Elisabeth B.B., in its content and especially in its form. BlueSkies999 (talk) 22:07, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

I would not question Emily Dickinson's innovations and power as a poet, but it is not the case that she was 'totally original' and not influenced by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In ED's poem to EBB opening "I think I was enchanted / When first I read ... that Foreign Lady" ED says this:
I could not have defined the change— / Conversion of the Mind / Like Sanctifying in the Soul— / Is witnessed—not explained— // 'Twas a Divine Insanity— / The Danger to be Sane / Should I again experience— / 'Tis Antidote to turn— // To Tomes of solid Witchcraft— / Magicians be asleep— / But Magic—hath an Element / Like Deity—to keep—
Similarly, ED acknowledges her predecessor in "Her 'Last Poems'", written shortly after EBB's death. Exuberance and imaginative reach are characteristics of both poets. 208.107.212.199 (talk) 20:50, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Works, First Publication section[edit]

Was wondering if the wikitable in this section is really needed? It looks bulky and seems out of place. I have checked similar articles and bulleted lists are more common. Would anyone object to getting rid of the table and going back to a bulleted list? I have checked the talkpage - the table was added with no discussion. - Josette (talk) 01:58, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Publication of the "Brownings' Correspondence" (begun in 1984) makes some info in secondary sources incorrect[edit]

The letters of Barrett Browning (now at vol. 16, covering the years 1849-51) and her Diary of 1831-2 give us her own words as well as annotations by the highly respected editors at Wedgestone Press. Drawing on her own words, a primary source, is more reliable than referring to older secondary sources. Mander, Hewlett, and Taplin did important work in the mid 20th century, but more recent work by Mermin, Stone, Leighton and others benefits from access to these original sources. Also, much language from Glenn Everett's Victorian Web piece remains in this entry. It is cited once and the website is linked, but taking his language without indicating that it is his isn't kosher. The piece itself isn't very well documented/sourced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Suzibear (talkcontribs) 06:23, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Bibliography[edit]

The guidelines say that the bibliography/further reading needs to give a coverage of the literature but needs to be limited - it is not a catalogue of all works. WP:FURTHER has some more detail. There is already an extensive list. English language sources should be prioritised as this is the English language Wikipedia. Span (talk) 19:36, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Image caption[edit]

I really don't know where to leave this, but there is a picture on the page about Elizabeth Barrett Browning that is labeled "Elizabeth Barrett Barrett" instead of "Elizabeth Barrett Browning." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.82.193.197 (talk) 17:19, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

And that's intentional. Check out the second paragraph of the Early life section. Rivertorch (talk) 18:26, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Jamaica[edit]

This section is erroneous: "Some of Barrett's family had lived in Jamaica for several centuries. The main wealth of Barrett's household derived from Edward Barrett (1734–1798), landowner of 10,000 acres (40 km2) in Cinnamon Hill, Cornwall, Cambridge, and Oxford estates in northern Jamaica. Barrett Browning's maternal grandfather owned sugar plantations, mills, glassworks and ships that traded between Jamaica and Newcastle. Biographer Julia Markus states that the poet 'believed that she had African blood through her grandfather Charles Moulton'.[1] There is no evidence to suggest that her line of the Barrett family had any African ancestry, although other branches did, through the children of plantation owners and slaves. What the family believed to be their genealogy over several hundred years in the West Indies, is unclear." The Barrett family could not have lived in Jamaica 'for several hundred years' unless they were Arawak Indians. The Spanish began to settle the island in 1509 and the British conquered the island from the Spanish in 1655 and it was at this time that some of the Barrett family lived in Jamaica. Thus, the time span from the Barrett family's presence in Jamaica to Elizabeth Barrett Browning's birth is about 151 years. I have edited the section accordingly. Jm3106jr (talk) 06:58, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Place of death[edit]

All the sources I can find say she died in Florence and was buried there. If anyone still wants to insist on Rome, please provide a good source. Richard75 (talk) 17:56, 6 March 2014 (UTC)