Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
Born in Northumberland to part-Creole Jamaican parents, writer and translator Barrett Browning ranks as one of Britain’s foremost Romantic poets.
Her first collection, An Essay on Mind and Other Poems was published in 1826, and in 1833 she also became famous as one of Britain’s few women translators of classical languages with her transcription from Greek of Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound.
Estranged from her plantation-owner father due to her opposition to slavery, Barrett married the great poet Robert Browning in 1846, their marriage resulting in some of the greatest poetic works of Victorian times, including Barrett Browning’s zenith point, Sonnets from the Portuguese, a set of poems to her husband published in 1850.
Barrett Browning’s later work criticised the Austrian oppression of 19th century Italy, child labour and slavery. She was perhaps the first Black fiction writer in British history.