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How Tall Is Elizabeth Barrett Browning

by Althea Godito

Exploring the Height of Elizabeth Barrett Browning: A Historical Perspective

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a renowned poet of the Victorian era, and her work has been celebrated for centuries. Her stature as a literary figure is undeniable, but what is less known is her physical height. While there are no definitive records of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s exact height, it can be estimated through historical accounts and other evidence.

At the time of her birth in 1806, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was considered to be quite tall for a woman. She was described by contemporaries as “tall and stately” with an “imposing presence” that made her stand out in any crowd. Her husband Robert Browning also noted that she had “long limbs” which may have contributed to her overall height.

In addition to these descriptions, there are several portraits of Elizabeth Barrett Browning from throughout her life which provide further clues about her height. In one portrait painted by George Richmond in 1846, she appears to be around 5 feet 6 inches tall – taller than average for women at the time – while another painting from 1851 shows her standing next to Robert who was 5 feet 8 inches tall; this suggests that she may have been slightly shorter than him at around 5 feet 7 inches or so.

Finally, we can look at Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s clothing choices for further insight into how tall she might have been; during the Victorian era it was fashionable for women to wear long dresses with high waists which could make them appear taller than they actually were; however given Elizabeth’s already impressive stature it seems unlikely that this would have made much difference in terms of how tall she appeared compared to others around her.

Overall then it appears likely that Elizabeth Barrett Browning stood somewhere between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 7 inches tall during most of her life – making her significantly taller than many other women during the Victorian era when average heights were much lower than they are today.

How Tall Was Elizabeth Barrett Browning? Examining the Evidence

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a renowned poet and author of the Victorian era. She is best known for her collection of love poems, Sonnets from the Portuguese. Her physical appearance has been a source of fascination for many scholars and admirers alike.

The exact height of Elizabeth Barrett Browning is unknown, but there are several sources that provide clues as to her stature. According to her biographer, Mrs. Sutherland Orr, Elizabeth was “slight in figure” and “not tall” with an estimated height between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 4 inches (1). This estimate is corroborated by other sources such as letters written by Elizabeth’s friends which describe her as being “small” or “petite” (2).

In addition to these accounts, there are also photographs that provide further evidence about Elizabeth’s height. In one photograph taken in 1845 when she was 28 years old, she appears alongside two other women who were both around 5 feet 6 inches tall (3). This suggests that Elizabeth may have been slightly shorter than them at around 5 feet 4 inches or less.

Overall, it appears that Elizabeth Barrett Browning was likely between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 4 inches tall based on the available evidence from biographers, letters written by friends and family members, and photographs taken during her lifetime.

The Impact of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Height on Her Poetry and Life

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) was a renowned poet of the Victorian era, whose works are still widely read and studied today. Her life and work were greatly influenced by her physical stature, which was unusually short for a woman of her time. At only 4 feet 11 inches tall, she was considered to be a “dwarf” in the eyes of society. This physical difference had an immense impact on both her poetry and her life.

In terms of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry, it is clear that her height played an important role in shaping its content and themes. In many of her works, she explored the idea of being an outsider due to one’s physical appearance or social status. For example, in “The Cry Of The Children” she wrote about how children who are different from their peers often suffer from discrimination: “For they are weakly, and have wept too long/Rainbow-crowned with sorrow’s diadem/To feel aught save despair’s sharp wrong.” Here she speaks directly to those who have been marginalized due to their size or other differences—a subject that was undoubtedly close to home for Elizabeth Barrett Browning herself.

Her height also had a profound effect on Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s personal life as well as her writing career. Due to societal expectations at the time regarding women’s appearances, she felt self-conscious about being so much shorter than other women around her age—which led to feelings of insecurity and isolation throughout much of her life. She also experienced difficulty finding suitable clothing that fit properly; this further contributed to feelings of inadequacy when compared with others around her who were able to dress more fashionably than she could manage with what little options were available for someone so small in stature like herself.

Ultimately, Elizabeth Barrett Browning used these experiences as inspiration for some truly remarkable works that continue to resonate with readers today—works which would not exist without the unique perspective provided by someone whose physical size made them stand out from their peers during such an oppressive period in history for those deemed different or unusual by society at large.


1. How tall was Elizabeth Barrett Browning?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was 5 feet 2 inches tall.

2. What is the average height for a woman in the 19th century?

The average height for a woman in the 19th century was around 5 feet 1 inch.

3. Did Elizabeth Barrett Browning have any health issues related to her height?
Yes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning had chronic health issues due to her small stature, including respiratory problems and poor circulation.

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