National Portrait Gallery- Romantics and Victorians

Though many of the other portraits were done with a great amount of skill, because I didn’t know who they were and what their lives had been like, they remained a row of anonymous face, while the arts and literature rooms were like meeting some of my heroes. It was actually quite enjoyable to wander through the National Portrait Gallery because I discovered that over the semester I have truly come to know some of our authors. For instance, I went into the Romantics section first and recognized Mary Wollstonecraft immediately. In addition to Mary I was also able to pick out the Brontes and Queen Victoria, but several others were new to me. It was great to be able to finally connect a face with the names printed on the covers of our texts. I must say– Lord Byron was nothing like I expected. There were definite elements of his time living abroad and I never thought of him with a mustache. Elizabeth Barret Browning was quite an unattractive woman, so much so that the contrast between her appearance and her poetry was almost jarring. I must add that I developed a new respect for Robert Browning for loving her purely for herself and her mind. And lastly, I’ve decided that Tennyson is officially my literary crush. He’s a brilliant poet and quite an attractive man if the painting is any likeness.

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