The love letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett are among the most famous in history. Daniel Karlin's selection, based on a fresh examination of the original manuscripts, provides new insight into the clandestine correspondence which led to their elopement in 1846. These complex and subtle letters, in which they explored each others needs and desires, passions and anxieties, tell the story of how they waited many years to finally elope, overcoming certain obstacles such as the neurotic presence of Elizabeth Barrett's father, and the intense demands they made on one another.
`The art of selection has been well practised to concentrate the hundreds of letters and thousands of details into a coherent picture based not on narrative, but on the words of the main characters. And it emerges fresh, compact and as moving as on first reading. The editorial tact which presents the letters almost bare of interruption and explanation, clusters a few compact and lucid notes at the end.'
`an astonishingly rich treasury of these poets' prose has been published in a single volume'
Times Literary Supplement
'one can only marvel at this record of a strange and marvellous passion'
'clearly presented and efficiently edited ... an agreeable way of sampling these extraordinary letters'
Philip Drew, University of Glasgow, Durham University Journal
'A lavish selection of the love letters of the two poets.'
'This selection includes less than half of the total collection of letters, and has been edited to highlight 'what the two writers have to say about their own love-relationship'. In this respect the book is of particular value to students of Barrett's poetry.'
Kenneth Millard, St Hilda's College, Oxford, English Studies, Volume 73, Number 4, August 1992
Introduction; Note on the text; Calendar of letters and meetings; The letters; Notes