Elizabeth was initially hesitant to publish the poems, feeling that they were too personal. However, Robert insisted that they were the best sequence of English-language sonnets since Shakespeare's time and urged her to publish them. To offer the couple some privacy, she decided that she might publish them under a title disguising the poems as translations of foreign sonnets. Therefore, the collection was first to be known as Sonnets from the Bosnian, until Robert suggested that she change their imaginary original language to Portuguese, probably after his nickname for her: "my little Portuguese." The title is also a reference to Les Lettres portugaises.
By far the most famous poem from this collection, with one of the most famous opening lines in the English language, is number forty-three:
LARSEN: Sonnets from the Portuguese. My Antonia. Margaret Songs. Try Me, Good King: Last Words of the Wives of Henry VIII
Jul 01, 2011; LARSEN Sonnets from the Portuguese. My Antonia, Margaret Songs, Try Me, Good King; Last Words of the Wives of Henry VIII * Ann...
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