Picture courtesy of:Wikipedia.Org
Robert Browning was born on May 7, 1812, in Camberwell, England
and he received very little formal education after the age of 14.
His mother, Sarah Wiedemann Browning, was an accomplished pianist and a devout evangelical
Christian. His father, Robert Browning, worked as a bank clerk, was also an
artist, scholar, antiquarian, and collector of books and pictures.
His father's rare book collection is reported to have had more than
6,000 volumes included works
in Greek, Hebrew, Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish.
Robert was said to be an impulsive, fearless little boy who was also
rather a prodigy. Much of
Browning's education came from his well-read father. It is believed
that he was already proficient at reading and writing by the age of
five. A bright and anxious student, learning Latin, Greek,
and French by the time he was fourteen. From fourteen to sixteen he
was educated at home, attended to by various tutors in music, drawing,
dancing, and horsemanship. At the age of twelve he wrote a volume of
Byronic verse entitled Incondita, which his parents attempted,
unsuccessfully, to have published. In 1825, a cousin gave Browning
a collection of Shelley's poetry; Browning was so taken with the book
that he asked for the rest of Shelley's works for his thirteenth
birthday, and declared himself a vegetarian and an atheist in
emulation of the poet. Despite this early passion, he apparently
wrote no poems between the ages of thirteen and twenty.
Browning enrolled at the University of London, but did not stay long,
anxious to read and learn at his own pace. The random nature of
his education later surfaced in his writing, leading to criticism
of his poems' obscurities.
His first volume of poetry, Pauline, appeared in 1833
without signature. His early work attracted
little attention until the publication of Paracelsus in 1835
that brought him into prominence among the literary figures
of the day. "Paracelsus" was the first poem in which Browning used a
Renaissance setting, a familiar motif in his later work.
In 1833, Browning first major work,
Pauline was published anonymously , and in 1840 he published Sordello, which was widely
regarded as a failure. He also tried his hand at drama, but his plays,
including Strafford, which ran for five nights in 1837, and the Bells
and Pomegranates series, were for the most part unsuccessful.
( Bells and
Pomegranates, included several of his best-known dramatic
lyrics, such as ‘How they Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix’.
"The Pied Piper of
Hamelin," and Dramatic Romances and Lyrics in 1845
also including "Pippa Passes," "My Last Duchess," and
"The Bishop Orders
Nevertheless, the techniques he developed through his dramatic
monologues, especially his use of diction, rhythm, and
symbol, are regarded as his most important contribution to poetry,
influencing such major poets of the twentieth century as Ezra Pound,
T. S. Eliot, and Robert Frost.
After reading Elizabeth Barrett's Poems (1844) and corresponding with
her for a few months, Browning met her in 1845. They were married in
1846, against the wishes of Barrett's father. Because of her ill
health, worsened by the English climate, they made their home in
Florence, Italy, in the palace later made famous by Elizabeth’s poem,
Casa Guidi Windows. where they continued to write.
There he wrote Christmas Eve and Easter-Day in 1850
and a series of dramatic monologues, published collectively as Men and
Women (1855), Their son, Robert "Pen" Barrett Browning (1849-1912), the sculptor,
was born ( Robert was devastated when his mother Sarah died later that month),
and the same year his Collected Poems was
Elizabeth inspired Robert's collection of poems Men and
Women (1855), which he dedicated to her. Now regarded as one of
Browning's best works, the book was received with little notice at
the time; its author was then primarily known as Elizabeth Barrett's
husband. The collection includes "Fra Lippo Lippi" and "Andrea
del Sarto," studies of Renaissance artists.
After the death of Elizabeth in 1861, Browning and his son settled in
London, where he wrote his masterpiece, The Ring and the Book (1869),
events of a 17th-century Italian murder trial, the Ring is an extended
dramatic monologue among a number of characters and has been praised
as a perceptive psychological study. This was the first poem that
brought Browning widespread fame, receiving wide critical
acclaim, finally earning a twilight of renown and respect in
In 1811 the Browning Society was founded while he still
lived, and in 1882 he was awarded honorary degrees by Oxford
University, and in 1884 at the University of Edinburgh.
Although his wife’s reputation as a poet was greater
than his own during his lifetime, Robert Browning today is considered
one of the major poets of the Victorian era. He is most famous for the
development of the dramatic monologue, for his psychological insight,
and for his forceful, colloquial poetic style.
In 1878 Browning returned to Italy, where his only son made his home.
Robert Browning died on the same day that his final volume of verse,
Asolando, was published, Dec. 12, 1889. Browning wanted to be
buried next to Emily but at the time of his death the cemetery was not
allowing any more burials. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Love Among the Ruins
Meeting at Night
Grow Old Along With Me
To read more of Robert Brownings's poems:
Famous Poets and Poems
Representative Poetry On-line
Some more of his poems includes:
A Light Woman, A Lovers' Quarrel, A Pretty Woman, Serenade At
The Villa, A Woman's Last Word, Among the
Rocks, Another Way Of Love, Any Wife To Any Husband, Before, Bishop Blougram's Apology, Boot And Saddle,
The Fire-Side, Cavalier Tunes: Boot
and Saddle, Cavalier Tunes: Give a Rouse, Cavalier Tunes: Marching Along, Childe Roland To The
Dark Tower Came, Cleon, Confessions, Cristina, Earth's Immortalities, Epilogue,
Evelyn Hope, Garden Francies, Heretic's Tragedy, Home Thoughts, From Abroad, Home Thoughts,
From The Sea, In A Gondola, In A Year, In Three Days, Incident Of The French Camp, Instans
Tyrannus, Life in a Bottle, Life In A Love, Love In A Life, Man I Am and Man Would Be, Love,
Master Hugues Of Saxe-Gotha, Memorabilia, Misconceptions, Nationality In Drinks, Never The
Time And The Place, Old Pictures In Florence, One Way Of Love, Over the Sea our Galleys Went,
Overhead The Tree-Tops Meet, Pan and Luna, Parting At Morning, Pippa's Song, Popularity,
Porphyria's Lover, Prospice, Protus, Rabbi Ben Ezra, Respectability, The Boy And
the Angel, The Confessional, The Englishman In Italy, The Glove, The
Guardian-Angel, The Italian In England, The Laboratory, The Last Ride Together, The Lost Leader,
The Lost Mistress, The Patriot, The Statue and the Bust, The Twins,
The Wanderers, The Year's At The Spring,
Time's Revenges, To Edward Fitzgerald, Two In The Campagna, Verse-Making Was Least of My Virtues,
Waring, Why I Am a Liberal, Women And
Roses, You'll love me yet!-and I can tarry, Youth and Art.
The Agamemnon of Aeschylus
Balaustion's Adventure, Including a Transcript from Euripides
Bells and Pomegranates, No. IV - The Return of the Druses: A Tragedy in Five Acts
Bells and Pomegranates. No. I - Pippa Passes
Bells and Pomegranates. No. II - King Victor and King Charles
Bells and Pomegranates. No. III - Dramatic Lyrics
Bells and Pomegranates. No. V - A Blot in the 'Scutcheon: A Tragedy in Five Acts
Bells and Pomegranates. No. V - Colombe's Birthday: A Play in Five Acts
Bells and Pomegranates. No. VII - Dramatic Romances and Lyrics
Bells and Pomegranates. No. VIII - and Last, Luria; and A Soul's Tragedy
Fifine at the Fair
Poems: A New Edition
Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society
Strafford: An Historical Tragedy
[Poet's Corner Index]
Reference, Research and Source Information
The History Channel
The images copyrights belong to the respective artist, has expired or are in public domain.
I take no credit for any of the information and have no personal knowledge of
the events and I am not representing such.
The format, reformatting, presentation and order of placement of the content is mine. The contents
is presented for information and educational purposes.
copyright notices for using information from the above sources and have given
complete titles, web site addresses, credit, etc. to the best of my abilities.
If the information I have provided concerning where and how the information
was obtained is not properly done or credited, it is in no way intentional.