Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sunday 23 May 2021
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Assembly Rooms
£10 (excl. fees)
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Most of us know so little about the woman acclaimed as Britain’s greatest female poet. Yet she topped a BBC poll to find the nation’s favourite poem, ‘How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,’ No.43 Songs from the Portuguese.

Fiona Sampson, award-winning poet, broadcaster, critic and author of Two-Way Mirror: The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, takes us behind the romance of her extraordinary life to show a thoroughly modern figure, who remains an electrifying study in self-invention.

Elizabeth was born in 1806, a time when women could neither attend university nor vote, and yet she achieved lasting literary fame, inspiring writers from Emily Dickinson to George Eliot and Virginia Woolf. She gained notoriety after going against her despotic father’s wishes and running away to secretly marry fellow poet Robert Browning.

This event will hold up a mirror to the woman, her art and the art of biography itself.

Follow on Twitter: @FionaRSampson

Event information:
This event will be socially distanced. Our venues were built by previous generations to house large gatherings, so they are adaptable for use adhering to socially distanced rules, with their spacious rooms and high ceilings. Further instructions of audience guidelines will be communicated closer to the festival and will adhere to the government guideline. Audience and artists’ safety is paramount. To read our COVID secure guidelines, please click here

For more information about accessibility and how to book a personal assistant complimentary ticket, please click here

Buy the book:
Two-Way Mirror: The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Fiona Sampson


Bath Festivals’ safety procedures have been certified by Visit Britain as ‘Good to Go’. For more information, visit their website here.