Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Speaking of Love Letters

(Above) Elizabeth Barrett’s first letter to Robert Browning, January 11, 1845. Courtesy Wellesley College, Margaret Clapp Library, Special Collections via the Browning Letters Collection. (Courtesy of Baylor University)
On Valentine's Day, fans of 19th century poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning were given online access to a collection of 573 letters the two exchanged from 1845 to 1846.

Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, introduced the digital collection called The Browning Letters. Not only does the site contain scans of the original letters, allowing the public to see the writers' handwriting, but the letters also are transcribed for easier reading.

According to the news release posted on the Baylor website, "the collaborative task provides unprecedented free online access to these celebrated letters for scholars and romantics alike -- and may inspire readers to opt for pen and paper over text messages and email..." 

On the Wellesley College website has another page titled The Browning Collection, and it includes photos of items belonging to the Brownings. There, you can see the box that Robert kept Elizabeth's letters in, the collapsible leather case she kept his letters in, and more. You can read more about the collection at the Wellesley news site

If you've ever read any of their poems (you probably have.... How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height...), you're surely to enjoy seeing their original letters.

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