Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Moulton) (March 6, 1806 June 29, 1861) was a member of the Barrett family and one of the most respected poets of the Victorian era..
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"We all have known good critics, who have stamped out poet's hopes; Good statesmen, who pulled ruin on the state; Good patriots, who, for a theory, risked a cause; Good kings, who disemboweled for a tax; Good Popes, who brought all good to jeopardy; Good Christians, who sat still in easy-chairs; And damned the general world for standing up. Now, may the good God pardon all good men!"
"The works of women are symbolical. We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight, producing what? A pair of slippers, sir, to put on when you're weary -- or a stool. To stumble over and vex you... curse that stool! Or else at best, a cushion, where you lean and sleep, and dream of something we are not, but would be for your sake. Alas, alas! This hurts most, this... that, after all, we are paid the worth of our work, perhaps."
"It is not merely the likeness which is precious... but the association and the sense of nearness involved in the thing... the fact of the very shadow of the person lying there fixed forever! It is the very sanctification of portraits I think -- and it is not at all monstrous in me to say that I would rather have such a memorial of one I dearly loved, than the noblest Artist's work ever produced."
"Books, books, books had found the secret of a garret-room piled high with cases in my father's name; Piled high, packed large, --where, creeping in and out among the giant fossils of my past, like some small nimble mouse between the ribs of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there at this or that box, pulling through the gap, in heats of terror, haste, victorious joy, the first book first. And how I felt it beat under my pillow, in the morning's dark. An hour before the sun would let me read! My books!"
"A woman cannot do the thing she ought, which means whatever perfect thing she can, in life, in art, in science, but she fears to let the perfect action take her part and rest there: she must prove what she can do before she does it, -- prate of woman's rights, of woman's mission, woman's function, till the men (who are prating, too, on their side) cry, A woman's function plainly is... to talk. Poor souls, they are very reasonably vexed!"
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