Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born on 6 March 1806 in County Durham, England and died on 29 June 1861 in Florence, Italy. She began writing poems as a very young child, and her mother assiduously collected her juvenilia, which are still extant. Her proud father published a privately printed copy of her epic poem "The Battle of Marathon" in 1820.
When she was 15, she contracted some sort of chronic illness, resulting in pain in her head and spine, and became addicted to laudanum, a pain killer, but continued to write poetry. Her first major book of poetry published under her own name was The Seraphim and Other Poems which appeared in 1838. She continued to write prolifically and had a major success with her Poems of 1840. Her most prolific period as a writer was the mid- and late 1840s, but she continued to write until her death in 1861.