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Perplexed Marian
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: June 01, 2003 04:41PM

Does anyone know who the E J was to whom Perplexed Music by Elizabeth Barrett Browning was 'affectionately inscribed'?


Re: Perplexed Marian
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: June 02, 2003 01:15PM


If there's a perplexed Marian, who better than another Marian to either fix it or make it worse?

I have a candidate for E.J.-hood:

E.J. (Edward John) Trelawney - Author of "Adventures of a younger son," someone Robert Browning met during travels in Italy and corresponded with some. He's mentioned briefly at:

[www.encyclopediaindex.com] />
I have nothing but the initials to go by, but at least he can now be looked up in the indexes (or indices) of biographies of Elizabeth to see if he's mentioned as the inscripient of the poem.


Re: Perplexed Marian
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: June 03, 2003 03:53AM

Thanks, Marian, I'll do some checking on that basis.


Re: Perplexed Marian
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: June 03, 2003 06:17AM

E J Trelawyney - 1792-1881. English author and adventurer, born of famous Cornish family, joined navy aged 11 but deserted and went to live a life of adventure in the East. Met Shelley at Pisa in 1821, helped burn his body after he drowned. This comes from my Chambers Biographical Dictionary.

Googling around, I also discovered (though can't vouch for the accuracy of) that he rescued Shelley's heart from the blaze and brought it home to England, that he was there at Byron's death, too, that he proposed to Mary Shelley in the late 1830s, and that shortly after their embittered separation he proposed to and married Augusta Goring, a friend of Mary Shelley's. There's a letter for sale from Mary to Augusta, a sort of 'goodbye, it was nice knowing you sort of letter '- see

[www.pbagalleries.com] /> Item 56. Price rather above my touch, I fear.

I was also intrugued to discover that another close friend of Elizabeth Barrett Browning ( I think before Elizabeth's marriage) was Miss Mitford (Mary Russell Mitford, I assume), whose life story - winning a fortune on the lottery at a very young age, this being rapidly spent by her father and forcing both of them to depend on her income from writing, has fascinated me for ages.

However, I can't find out anything about EJ Trelawney and EBB (or E J T & Robert Browning, for that matter). Still, it was much more fun than hoovering - thanks for the hint, Marian.


Re: Perplexed Marian
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: June 03, 2003 07:09AM

What I really need is the date Perplexed music was written/published, - since Browning didn't meet Trelawney until 1844, and didn't elope with Elizabeth until 1845, if she wrote it before then it's unlikely E J is him (unless she knew him independently before she knew Robert, but Trelawney lived abroad, which makes this unlikely). Unfortunately, I don't have access to that information at present - can anyone help?


Re: Perplexed Marian
Posted by: ilza (200.162.247.---)
Date: June 03, 2003 09:39AM

it is from one of the two volumes of 1844 Poems

I am trying to find out WHEN in 1844


Perplexed - Aug 1844
Posted by: ilza (200.162.247.---)
Date: June 03, 2003 09:42AM

it is from one of the two volumes of 1844 Poems
published in August ...


Re: Perplexed
Posted by: ilza (200.162.247.---)
Date: June 03, 2003 10:09AM

how about one of her siblings, Edward, for instance,
but then what would the J stand for ?


Re: Perplexed
Posted by: Marian-NYC (12.154.236.---)
Date: June 03, 2003 01:47PM


Marian2,

I wonder also if there's significance to this poem being "inscribed" rather than "dedicated."

Never seen that before. If she wrote it before meeting Mr. E. J., might she "inscribe" it to him after the fact?

(Just trying to complicate things.)

BTW, I was at the library yesterday and I did pull an EBB biography off the shelf, but there was only ONE on the shelf and the index mentioned neither Trelawny nor "Perplexed Music" nor any other promising "J."




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