January 1848–August 1849, Letters 2717–2812
Volume 15 sees the Brownings taking up permanent residence in Casa Guidi where on 9 March 1849 their only child, Pen, is born. His birth is seen as something of a miracle by both parents, especially in light of EBB’s fragile health. Amidst their joy comes news of the death of RB’s mother. The anguish that RB experiences as a result is described by his wife in letters to her sisters and Mary Russell Mitford. To distract him, EBB organizes a holiday to La Spezia, then Bagni di Lucca, where they later stay for the summer. While there, she presents RB with her Sonnets from the Portuguese. Meanwhile, RB’s first collected edition of his poetry, Poems (1849), is published by Chapman and Hall. EBB’s “Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point” appears in the American anti-slavery annual The Liberty Bell. She sends “A Meditation in Tuscany” (later to become the first part of Casa Guidi Windows) to Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, but it is not published.