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The Brownings Their Life and Art   By: (1847-1942)

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THE BROWNINGS

Their Life and Art

[Illustration: ROBERT BROWNING

From a drawing made by Field Talfourd, in Rome, 1855 ]

THE BROWNINGS

Their Life and Art

by

LILIAN WHITING

Author of "The World Beautiful," "Italy the Magic Land," "The Spiritual Significance," Etc.

Illustrated

Boston Little, Brown, and Company 1911

Copyright, 1911, by Little, Brown, and Company.

All rights reserved

Published, October, 1911

Printers S. J. Parkhill & Co., Boston, U.S.A.

INSCRIBED TO ROBERT BARRETT BROWNING (CAVALIERE DELLA CORONA D'ITALIA) PAINTER, SCULPTOR, CONNOISSEUR IN ART WITH ENCHANTING REMEMBRANCES OF HOURS IN "LA TORRE ALL' ANTELLA" AND THE FAITHFUL REGARDS OF

LILIAN WHITING FLORENCE, ITALY, June, 1911

FOREWORD

The present volume was initiated in Florence, and, from its first inception, invested with the cordial assent and the sympathetic encouragement of Robert Barrett Browning. One never to be forgotten day, all ethereal light and loveliness, has left its picture in memory, when, in company with Mr. Browning and his life long friend, the Marchesa Peruzzi di' Medici ( náta Story), the writer of this biography strolled with them under the host's orange trees and among the riotous roses of his Florentine villa, "La Torre All' Antella," listening to their sparkling conversation, replete with fascinating reminiscences. To Mr. Browning the tribute of thanks, whose full scope is known to the Recording Angel alone, is here offered; and there is the blending of both privilege and duty in grateful acknowledgements to Messrs. Smith, Elder, & Company for their courtesy in permitting the somewhat liberal drawing on their published Letters of both the Brownings, on which reliance had to be based in any effort to

"Call up the buried Past again,"

and construct the story, from season to season, so far as might be, of that wonderful interlude of the wedded life of the poets.

Yet any formality of thanks to this house is almost lost sight of in the rush of memories of that long and mutually trusting friendship between the late George Murray Smith, the former head of this firm, and Robert Browning, a friendship which was one of the choicest treasures in both their lives.

To The Macmillan Company, the publishers for both the first and the present Lord Tennyson; To Houghton Mifflin Company; to Messrs. Dodd, Mead, & Company; to The Cornhill Magazine (to which the writer is indebted for some data regarding Browning and Professor Masson); to each and all, acknowledgments are offered for their courtesy which has invested with added charm a work than which none was ever more completely a labor of love.

To Edith, Contessa Rucellai ( náta Bronson), whose characteristically lovely kindness placed at the disposal of this volume a number of letters written by Robert Browning to her mother, Mrs. Arthur Bronson, special gratitude is offered.

"Poetry," said Mrs. Browning, "is its own exceeding great reward." Any effort, however remote its results from the ideal that haunted the writer, to interpret the lives of such transcendent genius and nobleness as those of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, must also be its own exceeding reward in leading to a passion of pursuit of all that is highest and holiest in the life that now is, and in that which is to come.

LILIAN WHITING

THE BRUNSWICK, BOSTON Midsummer Days, 1911

CONTENTS

PAGE CHAPTER I

1812 1833

The Most Exquisite Romance of Modern Life Ancestry and Youth of Robert Browning Love of Music Formative Influences The Fascination of Byron A Home "Crammed with Books" The Spell of Shelley "Incondita" Poetic Vocation Definitely Chosen "Pauline" 1

CHAPTER II

1806 1832

Childhood and Early Youth of Elizabeth Barrett Hope End "Summer Snow of Apple Blossoms" Her Bower of White Roses "Living with Visions" The Malvern Hills Hugh Stuart Boyd Love of Learning "Juvenilia" Impassioned Devotion to Poetry 16

CHAPTER III

1833 1841

Browning Visits Russia "Paracelsus" Recognition of Wordsworth and Landor "Strafford" First Visit to Italy Mrs... Continue reading book >>




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