Most everyone knows at least the outline of the one of the most romantic love stories in history: that of the meeting and eventual marriage of the shy, reclusive 38 year old English poet Elizabeth Barrett and the more outgoing, younger and lesser-known poet, Robert Browning. Their poems are still loved today, their correspondence and inspiring story still read and admired.
One of the books I mean to read this year is just this story: DARED AND DONE The Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning by Julia Markus.
Books, book, books!
I had found the secret of a garrett-room
Piled high with cases in my father's name,
Piled high, packed large, - where, creeping in
Among the giant fossils of my past,
Like some small nimble mouse between
Of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there
At this or that box, pulling through the gap,
In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy,
The first book first. And how I felt it beat
Under my pillow, in the morning's dark,
And hour before the sun would let me read!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
(Thanks to Anna Quindlen for bringing this poem to my attention.)