WELLESLEY, Mass. -- "I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett ..."
So begins the first love letter to 19th-century poet Elizabeth Barrett from her future husband, fellow poet Robert Browning.
Their 573 love letters, which capture their courtship, their blossoming love and their forbidden marriage, have long fascinated scholars and poetry fans. Though transcriptions of their correspondence have been published in the past, the handwritten letters could be seen only at Wellesley College, where the collection has been kept since 1930.
But starting Tuesday, Valentine's Day, their famous love letters are available online, where readers can see them just as they were written -- with creased paper, fading ink, quill pen cross-outs, and even the envelopes.