Ms. Sonnet By E.B. Browning
Title: "Sonnet - a thought" [i.e. "An Apprehension"] - original manuscript, with fragment on verso
Author: Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
Description: 14 lines plus title, written in brown ink in a miniscule hand on a slip of paper; on the verso is a 13-line fragment from "The Maiden's Death," also in Browning's hand. Slip of paper is 5.8x11 cm. (2½x4½"), neatly glued along left edge to backing board so it can be lifted to view the verso. Matted along with a typed transcript of both recto and verso, framed under glass (removed from frame for examination).Rare original manuscript of a sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Published in Browning's "Poems", 1844, under the title An Apprehension, with the present ms. slightly different than the printed version. The sonnet begins "If all the gentlest-hearted friends I know / Gave to the heart of one their gentleness..." whereas the second line of the printed version reads "Concentrated in one heart their gentleness." The third line begins "Which still grew gentler..." with the printed version "That still grew gentler..." The third line from bottom reads "Of your salt scorn dash on me!..." differing from the printed "Of bitter scorn dash on me!..." The fragment on the verso is also quite curious. "The Maiden's Death" was not published during E.B. Browning's lifetime, but was one of a number of early poems by her contained in a quarto ms. volume sold at the sale of Browning manuscripts in 1913 - it was published in Cornhill Magazine that same year. The present fragment begins with the 19th line, "Weep for her who doth remove" and ends with the line "Dust to dust, she lies beneath." In the right hand margin of the sonnet, written perpendicular to the text in a larger, later hand, in black ink, "Elizabeth B. Browning / author of 'The Scraphian(?)" re / a very Pythiness." A small fragment of sealing wax is beneath the sonnet.
Heading: Place Published: No place
Date Published: c.1840
Slight discoloration to the paper; very good.