The Second Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

February 19, 2021

At the Guardian, biographer Fiona Sampson, author of Two Way Mirror, reflects on the life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, whose forced isolation due to respiratory illness led her to find an escape through writing — a respite we can find relatable during this pandemic. “She escaped via paper rather than a screen, of course; but her grasp of self-invention through a kind of ‘second life’ reminded me of all the friendships we were suddenly reconfiguring on Zoom,” Sampson writes. “I also realised how closely her practice prefigured today’s digital communicators: not just the teenagers and geeks, bloggers and TikTok stars, but citizen journalists, activists and those policed by authoritarian regimes too.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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