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How Do I Love Thee?

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A romantic, emotion-charged novel based on the true story of beloved poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

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Reviews of How Do I Love Thee?

Overall customer rating: 3.000
piafinn

Love that Inspires Sonnets

by piafinn on Sep 10, 2010

This was historical fiction about the romance between Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It focused on her life, as the eldest of ten children of a tyrannical father, who forbade his children to marry. Elizabeth began a correspondence with Robert as a fellow poet, as she had with other peers. Eventually they met once or twice a week, when her father was away at work. At age 40, she eloped with Robert and they moved to Italy, rather than face her father's wrath. He disowned her. They had one son. They were happy for about 15 years and then she died. Robert never remarried. Being a woman in those times, she never would have been able to defy her father, except for the inheritance she had received from an uncle. This prompted her family to believe Robert had only married her for money. He did not. I found it interesting, as I didn't know much about either of them, other than her famous poem, How Do I Love Thee? and that these two poets were married. She was sickly, although I never could determine what her actual ailment was. She had developed an opium addiction, as her doctors thought it would ease her burdens. She also felt guilt over the death of her favourite brother. It was at times hard to read, particularly their letters, which were written as long, run-on sentences with many commas, brackets, and asides. I suppose that's the way they spoke back then. Following the story, the author adds a chapter by chapter summary of the things that were true and false. She then adds discussion questions and many of her love sonnets.

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