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Life and Letters of Robert Browning   By: (1828-1903)

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by Mrs. Sutherland Orr

Second Edition


Such letters of Mr. Browning's as appear, whole or in part, in the present volume have been in most cases given to me by the persons to whom they were addressed, or copied by Miss Browning from the originals under her care; but I owe to the daughter of the Rev. W. J. Fox Mrs. Bridell Fox those written to her father and to Miss Flower; the two interesting extracts from her father's correspondence with herself and Mr. Browning's note to Mr. Robertson.

For my general material I have been largely indebted to Miss Browning. Her memory was the only existing record of her brother's boyhood and youth. It has been to me an unfailing as well as always accessible authority for that subsequent period of his life which I could only know in disconnected facts or his own fragmentary reminiscences. It is less true, indeed, to say that she has greatly helped me in writing this short biography than that without her help it could never have been undertaken.

I thank my friends Mrs. R. Courtenay Bell and Miss Hickey for their invaluable assistance in preparing the book for, and carrying it through the press; and I acknowledge with real gratitude the advantages derived by it from Mr. Dykes Campbell's large literary experience in his very careful final revision of the proofs.

A. Orr. April 22, 1891.


Chapter 1 Origin of the Browning Family Robert Browning's Grandfather His position and Character His first and second Marriage Unkindness towards his eldest Son, Robert Browning's Father Alleged Infusion of West Indian Blood through Robert Browning's Grandmother Existing Evidence against it The Grandmother's Portrait.

Chapter 2 Robert Browning's Father His Position in Life Comparison between him and his Son Tenderness towards his Son Outline of his Habits and Character His Death Significant Newspaper Paragraph Letter of Mr. Locker Lampson Robert Browning's Mother Her Character and Antecedents Their Influence upon her Son Nervous Delicacy imparted to both her Children Its special Evidences in her Son.

Chapter 3 1812 1826 Birth of Robert Browning His Childhood and Schooldays Restless Temperament Brilliant Mental Endowments Incidental Peculiarities Strong Religious Feeling Passionate Attachment to his Mother; Grief at first Separation Fondness for Animals Experiences of School Life Extensive Reading Early Attempts in Verse Letter from his Father concerning them Spurious Poems in Circulation 'Incondita' Mr. Fox Miss Flower.

Chapter 4 1826 1833 First Impressions of Keats and Shelley Prolonged Influence of Shelley Details of Home Education Its Effects Youthful Restlessness Counteracting Love of Home Early Friendships: Alfred Domett, Joseph Arnould, the Silverthornes Choice of Poetry as a Profession Alternative Suggestions; mistaken Rumours concerning them Interest in Art Love of good Theatrical Performances Talent for Acting Final Preparation for Literary Life.

Chapter 5 1833 1835 'Pauline' Letters to Mr. Fox Publication of the Poem; chief Biographical and Literary Characteristics Mr. Fox's Review in the 'Monthly Repository'; other Notices Russian Journey Desired diplomatic Appointment Minor Poems; first Sonnet; their Mode of Appearance 'The Trifler' M. de Ripert Monclar 'Paracelsus' Letters to Mr. Fox concerning it; its Publication Incidental Origin of 'Paracelsus'; its inspiring Motive; its Relation to 'Pauline' Mr. Fox's Review of it in the 'Monthly Repository' Article in the 'Examiner' by John Forster.

Chapter 6 1835 1838 Removal to Hatcham; some Particulars Renewed Intercourse with the second Family of Robert Browning's Grandfather Reuben Browning William Shergold Browning Visitors at Hatcham Thomas Carlyle Social Life New Friends and Acquaintance Introduction to Macready New Year's Eve at Elm Place Introduction to John Forster Miss Fanny Haworth Miss Martineau Serjeant Talfourd The 'Ion' Supper 'Strafford' Relations with Macready Performance of 'Strafford' Letters concerning it from Mr... Continue reading book >>

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