Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s imperfect rhymes, criticized since the nineteenth century, strangely resemble her blank verse. This essay argues that her experiments in poetic form should be viewed in relation to her reading and writing of literary history, particularly her intellectual engagement with the work of Henry Hallam. Barrett Browning’s remarks in the margins of Hallam’s books and in a historiographical essay of her own reveal a poet thinking about her craft in the context of a transnational history of poetry. Barrett Browning’s idiosyncratic prosody becomes another means of writing literary history.

You do not currently have access to this content.