How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.No doubt there are those who would describe the writings of Elizabeth Barrett Browning as turgid dreck oozing from an overactive romance chancre but the National Library of Scotland have just posted a new site that will allow for an alternative view of the 19th century poet.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace
"Phoebe Anna Traquair's illuminated manuscript of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 'Sonnets from the Portuguese' is one of the Library's treasures. Made in Edinburgh between 1892 and 1897, it displays bold and bright watercolours, gold leaf and intricate decorative motifs. It is an exquisite work, and until this week it could only be studied by visiting NLS in person.Click the above screen captures for larger images.
Our online Phoebe Anna Traquair feature was launched this week. Using zoom-and-pan images, you can now examine in close detail each of the 44 sonnet pages, plus the title page and end page. Background information about the manuscript and the artist has been provided by freelance art historian Elizabeth Cumming."