‘She talks no commonplaces’

  • Ellen Twisleton


[London.] 21 July 1852. I have seen [Mrs Browning], and am not, in any way, displeased or disappointed with her appearance—I could not have been possibly, for I knew what was in her, and should have looked till I found it out. She is very small, shorter than I am, dressed in black and not with any particular care or nicety, but not at all sluttish either, only as if she did not spend money or thought upon the matter — she has very small hands and feet, beautiful thick brown hair, but covered with a black cap, behind, and worn in curls, not beautiful, in front, has a fine, calm forehead, soft grey eyes, a low gentle voice, and quiet, well-bred manner. Her mouth might be called ugly, but I should not call it so — it is somewhat too large and a little projecting, but you would never think of it — her face has great refinement, great sensibility, a susceptibility, whether to sorrow or joy — it looks as if her own words expressed the simple truth, that she had had for her trial, ‘all the sun and all the shower,’1 she looks like an invalid, but a self-controlled one, who made no fuss — and is through and through gentle, refined, and ladylike.

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Ellen Twisleton

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