"HOW DO I LOVE THEE? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS": ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING'S POEMS, INCLUDING HER SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE
BROWNING, Elizabeth Barrett. Poetical Works. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1900. Octavo, contemporary full blue morocco, raised bands, all edges gilt. $450.
Later edition of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poems, including her Sonnets from the Portuguese, handsomely bound in full morocco by Bumpus.
"The strange courtship of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett, morally chained to a monstrous father, and their subsequent elopement, is one of the most romantic stories in 19th-century literature. What Browning did not know is that while Elizabeth was lying on that famous sofa in her father's house on Wimpole Street she was pouring out her heart in some of the most remarkable love poetry ever written by a woman. One morning some time later, when they were living in Pisa, Elizabeth Browning pushed a packet under her husband's arm, asked him to read the sonnets it contained and, should he disapprove, destroy them. Then she rushed from the room. Browning sat there and read with ever-growing wonder. Even before he had finished he hurried to his wife and demanded their publication. To shelter her feelings it was pretended that the sonnets had been translated from the Portuguese" (Great Books and Book Collectors, 239). With frontispiece portrait. Bookplate; owner signature.
Interior clean and fine, shallow wear to spine head, front joint just starting, binding sound and attractive, near-fine.