Sonnet XXIX Criticism

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Since her death in 1861, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's work has received increased critical attention and approbation. As Julia Markus notes in her 1995 study of the Brownings' marriage Dared and Done, Barrett Browning's first critical rave came from her future husband, who began his first letter to her with the statement "I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett" and who later prompted her to have the Sonnets from the Portuguese published because its poems constituted (in his opinion) the greatest sonnet sequence since Shakespeare's. Many critics agree with the assessment of Dorothy Mermin, who (in her 1989 study Elizabeth Barrett Browning: The Origins of a New Poetry) calls Barrett Browning "the first woman poet in English literature."

As Margaret Foster points out in her 1988 biography Elizabeth Barrett Browning, however, many of the poet's contemporary critics attacked Barrett Browning's poems for their "obscurity, strange images, faulty rhymes and...

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This section contains 554 words
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Poetry for Students
Sonnet XXIX from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.