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Sonnets from the Portuguese


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Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806—1861) poet and writer

Thomas James Wise (1859—1937) book collector and forger

Robert Browning (1812—1889) poet

Petrarch (1304—1374)

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A sonnet‐sequence by E. B. Browning first published 1850; the so‐called ‘Reading Edition’ of 1847 was a forgery by T. J. Wise. It describes the growth and development of her love for Robert Browning, at first hesitating to involve him in her sorrowful invalid life, then yielding to gradual conviction of his love for her, and finally rapturous in late‐born happiness. The title was a secret reference for the Brownings to his nickname for her, ‘the Portuguese’, based on her poem ‘Catarina to Camoens’.

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