Why is the author of the poem "The Cry of the Children," Elizabeth Barrett Browning, also called Elizabeth Barrett Moulton?   

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Elizabeth Barrett was born March 6, 1806, and was the eldest child of Edward and Mary Moulton, who later took the last name of Barrett. Elizabeth’s father, Edward, was the namesake of his maternal grandfather, Edward Barrett (1734–1798). Edward’s grandfather was how he had derived his wealth. Because this was the origin of their fortune, Elizabeth’s father desired to adopt and hand down the family’s patronymic (along with its wealth). Also, the original Edward Barrett’s sons had already died, making his two grandsons his heirs. The original Edward Barrett made them heirs only on the condition that each of the grandsons took on the surname of Barrett when they turned twenty-one.

Elizabeth’s full name was Elizabeth Barrett Moulton Barrett, and “The Cry of the Children” was published in 1943, while she was still unwed. She used the name Moulton for legal documents and would sometimes use “Elizabeth Barrett Barrett” as well. The eNotes study guide references her original family name that she was first known by when single. In 1946, Elizabeth Barrett married the poet Robert Browning, and she then became known as Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

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Elizabeth's father was Edward Barrett Moulton Barrett, son of a family of wealthy landowners in Jamaica. The family strongly wished to preserve the family name in conjunction with the inheritance of its wealth, to the point of requiring the use of Barrett as the surname of anyone claiming to be a beneficiary. Until she was married in 1846, Elizabeth used the signature name of Elizabeth Barrett Moulton Barrett. Since The Cry of the Children was written in 1843, this would have been the name she would have used in signing the work. The eNotes study guide is abbreviating the format of her prior-to-marriage name by omitting the final Barrett.

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