How Do I Love Thee?
Bethany House, 2009. 364 pgs. Fiction
Who doesn’t appreciate a good love story? One of the most famous romances of all time was that of the reclusive Elizabeth Barrett and her fellow poet, Robert Browning. Due to a mysterious and wasting illness, Elizabeth was confined to her bedchamber for decades. However, her creative genius remained largely unhampered and she found liberation in her poetry and the correspondence she conducted with the famous men and women of letters in her generation. Her most satisfying friendship was formed when Robert Browning began a written courtship with Elizabeth. Their poetic romance and the clandestine relationship that ensued provided us with some of the more remarkable love poetry ever written. This historical novel is a nicely written account of their story.
It was fascinating to discover that the love poetry Elizabeth wrote while corresponding to her future husband was only shown to him years after their marriage when Robert was experiencing a severe depression and artistic dearth.
If readers are unfamiliar with the usual Bethany House publications, they can expect to find the accustomed fare: a gentle, wholesome romance with plenty of biblical inclusions and strong Christian overtones with the additional bonus of a well-researched, historical milieu.