…from America: The Brownings’ American Correspondents–Hiram (1805–1873) and Elizabeth (1809–1892) Powers

Hiram_Powers

Elizabeth Gibson PowersHiram Powers was an American neoclassical sculptor. In 1837 he moved to Italy, settling on the Via Fornace in Florence, where he had access to good supplies of marble and to traditions of stone-cutting and bronze casting. He remained in Florence until his death. Hiram and his wife became friends with the Brownings in Florence. His most famous sculpture was The Greek Slave. It toured America and was exhibited at the Crystal Palace in London. Viewing the exhibit in London, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was inspired to write her famous sonnet, “Hiram Power’s Greek Slave.” EBB-to-Powers-2

 Letter from Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Elizabeth Powers. [?30 November] [1854].

 In this letter Elizabeth Barrett Browning returns books that Elizabeth Powers lent to her for Pen to read. Pen’s favorite was The Pretty Village.

….He has read them himself, & had them read to him again  & again, –his particular favorite being ‘The Pretty Village’.

EBB-to-Powers

 Letter from Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Hiram Powers. [?20 February 1855].

In this letter Elizabeth asks for more books for Pen.

. . . My Penini has been delighted with several of the books & has read them all, & will be very glad to have others.

The Armstrong Browning Library’s holdings related to  the Powers include six Browning letters.

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