Recasting the Courtly: Translations of Medieval Language and Form in the Nineteenth Century

  • Clare Broome Saunders
Part of the Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters book series (19CMLL)


Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850) combines the idea of linguistic translation and transformation of form. From the outset, Barrett Browning hid the originality and intimacy of her sonnet sequence behind a “veil”: she is happy that her readers misunderstand the double meaning of the title and take the sequence as a linguistic translation from a little-known foreign language, rather than as love poems directed at her poet husband. The expectation established by the title is instantly subverted by the forty-four innovative, energetic, original poems.


Literary History Early Nineteenth Century Trace Link Female Focus Literal Translation 
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© Clare Broome Saunders 2009

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  • Clare Broome Saunders

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