The Brownings, 1850

  • Charles Eliot Norton


[18 November 1850]. Mrs Browning is even more slight and delicate in her appearance than I had supposed. Her manners are reserved and timid, her voice is low and she joined but little in the conversation. You feel as if she were so distrustful of herself that she kept back the expression of her sentiments and thoughts from all but those with whom she was familiar, — and, knowing what those thoughts and sentiments must be, you long so to win her confidence as to lead her to express them to you. Her face is pleasing, but like her voice and manner is melancholy and quiet, but full of sensibility. You would not believe from it that she has written as she has. You would believe her to have been the most delicate and sensitive of poets, not one to have written poems which show as hers do very great intellectual strength and power of expression. These are my first impressions …

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Charles Eliot Norton

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