'Pen' Robert Barrett Browning Robert Wiedeman Barrett Browning (1849-1912) the only son of married poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning was born in Florence, Italy at their home Casa Guidi on March 9, 1849. This was Elizabeth Barrett Browning's fourth pregnancy after suffering three miscarriages. She attributed this successful pregnancy to the fact that she stopped using laudanum prescribed for her illness. Undiagnosed during her lifetime with such symptoms and complaints as: body weakness, heart palpatations, cannot handle heat and cold and general exhaustion. Today she would be diagnosed with (HKPP) known as hypokalemic periodic paralysis. A muscle disorder where potassium becomes trapped in muscle cells causing blood levels of potassium to fall. Pen and Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Fratelli D' Alessandri 19 June 1860 She said of her son, "he's so fat and rosy and strong that almost I am sceptical of his being my child.