'How do I love thee? Let me count the ways'.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning eloped with Robert Browning #onthisday in 1846. They met in May 1845 and while his attraction to her was almost instantaneous, her feelings for him took longer to develop. Six years his senior and a lifelong sufferer of ill health, Elizabeth needed to be convinced that his affection for her was sincere and reliable. She was also aware of all that she would risk if she married Browning as her father had forbidden his children from marrying and said he would disinherit those who did.
In Sonnets from the Portuguese, these initial fears and doubts can be seen but by the later sonnets, such as Sonnet 43, these fears have been replaced by feelings of love and excitement as Elizabeth became surer of the relationship. Elizabeth and Robert remained married for 15 years until 29 June 1861 when Elizabeth died in Robert’s arms after a long illness. http://bit.ly/2cCXAUT
Image © The Provost and Fellows of Eton College