In the following essay, Mazzaro investigates Barrett Browning's use of the sublime in the poems of Sonnets from the Portuguese, viewing it as a response to her life-changing relationship with Robert Browning.
Laporte addresses the contrivance of Pompilia's status as the center and redemptress of "The Ring and the Book," by Elizabeth Barret Browning. He wishes to show that "The Athenaeum's" sympathetic and perhaps naive reading, which prevailed for well over a century and continues to influence readers, is less an historical accident or misreading of the text than it is the calculated effect of "Pompilia's" use of the generic features of virgin martyr hagiography, the "histories" of virgin saints.
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