• Although Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s experience of love undoubtedly informs the female speaker’s curative restoration in Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850), the series also shows the conscious deliberation of a Victorian poet engaged in the task of renovating generic imperatives to release feminine subjectivity — which had been invalidated by the conventions of Renaissance lyricism — into healthy self-expression. By so transforming what Wordsworth called “the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground,” Barrett Browning makes the “close room” of a sick woman’s confinement a place of unexpected largesse. Her creation of the persona of a female poet who overcomes her disabilities and who counts over her intellectual, emotional and physical responses to love thus stands as a remarkable achievement. Love — prescribed as a cure rather than diagnosed as a sickness — reprieves her from death, releases her into new life, and provides her with a way to effect the same transformation in a genre plagued by infirmity.