||Based on the romance between Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett, and her father's unwillingness to allow them to marry.
The play was Besier's only real success as a playwright. He had been turned down by two London producers, but managed to have it staged in Malvern, directed by Sir Barry Jackson.
He then turned to the United States, but was rebuffed by no fewer than 27 producers, before the actress Katharine Cornell took a personal interest in the play and had it staged at the Hanna Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio in 1931. The role of Elizabeth Barrett worked so well for Cornell that it became her signature role.
The Barretts of Wimpole Street then went to Broadway, where it opened on 9 February 1931 at the Empire Theatre, starring Katharine Cornell and Brian Aherne. It was revived there in 1934 and 1945.