Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in 1806. A semi-invalid for most of her early life, she won a great reputation with the appearance of her Poems (1844). The book attracted the admiration of Robert Browning, who secretly courted her for two years before the couple's celebrated elopement to Italy in 1846. In Italy, Elizabeth's health improved; she threw herself into European politics and wrote what is perhaps her best-known work, Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850). She died in 1861, and her Last Poems appeared in that same year.