Why did Robert Browning (1812-89) and Elizabeth Barrett (1806-61) have to marry secretly?

Robert Browning (1812-89) and Elizabeth Barrett (1806-61) had to marry secretly because Barrett’s father refused to let his children marry, even though Elizabeth was forty at the time.

The secret wedding took place at London’s St. Marylebone Church on September 12, 1846. (Browning was thirty-four.)

They lived in Florence for fifteen happy years until her death in 1861.

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