By: Jenn Corcoran
Robert Browning 1812-1889
• He was born on May 7, 1812 in
• Browning had a sister named
• His mother, Sarah Anne Wiedemann
was an accomplished pianist and a
• His father, Robert Browning was a
bank clerk, and also an artist,
scholar, antiquarian, and collector
of books and pictures
• Browning got much of his education
from his father
• He learned Latin, Greek, and French
by the time he was fourteen
• From age fourteen to sixteen he was
educated at home
• When he was ten he started at the
Peckam school where he stayed for
• At age twelve he wrote a volume of
Byronic verse entitled Incondita. His
parents tried to have it published
but were unsuccessful
• In 1828 Browning enrolled at the University of
London, but soon after he left because he wanted to
read and learn at his own pace
• In 1833 he anonymously published his first major
work, Pauline: A Fragment of a Confession
• In 1840 he published Sordello, which was a failure
• Browning also tried writing drama, but his plays,
Strafford, and the Bells and Pomegranates series
• However his use of diction, rhythm, and symbol are
regarded as his most important contribution to
poetry, influencing major poets of the twentieth
century such as Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and Robert
• Browning corresponded with Elizabeth Barrett
(born September 12, 1846) in 1844 for a few
months after reading her Poems, and finally met her
• They got married in 1846 and moved to Pisa and
then to Florence where they continued to write
• In 1849 they had a son, Robert “Pen” Wiedemann
• This was the same year Browning’s Collected Poems
was published (www.poets.org)
• Elizabeth inspired Robert’s collection of poems Men
and Women in 1855, which is now one of his best (http://eir.library.utoronto.ca/rpo
works but at the time was not noticed much /display/poet37.html)
• Elizabeth Barrett Browning died in 1861
and Robert Browning and his son moved
back to London
• In 1863 Browning published Dramatis
• In 1868 The Ring and the Book firmly
established Browning’s reputation, and from
then on he was considered one of England’s
greatest living poets
• In 1879-80 he published Dramatic Idyls
and other works that brought him
• In 1881 the Browning Society was
established in London to study his poems
• He was awarded with Hon. M.A. of Oxford:
June 1868, Hon. fellow of Balliol College:
October 1868, Hon. LL.D. of the University
of Edinburgh: 1884, Hon. president of 5
Assoc. Societies of Edinburgh: 1885
• Robert Browning died on December
12,1889 during a stay in Venice and, he was
buried in Poet’s Corner of Westminster
This is the first stanza of The Pied
Piper of Hamelin
Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
A Woman's Last Word
Where the apple reddens That shall be to-morrow
Let's contend no more, Love,
Never pry--- Not to-night:
Strive nor weep:
Lest we lose our Edens, I must bury sorrow
All be as before, Love,
Eve and I. Out of sight:
Be a god and hold me ---Must a little weep, Love,
What so wild as words are?
With a charm! (Foolish me!)
I and thou
Be a man and fold me And so fall asleep, Love,
In debate, as birds are,
With thine arm! Loved by thee.
Hawk on bough!
Teach me, only teach, Love
See the creature stalking
As I ought
While we speak!
I will speak thy speech, Love,
Hush and hide the talking,
Think thy thought---
Cheek on cheek!
Meet, if thou require it,
What so false as truth is,
False to thee?
Laying flesh and spirit
Where the serpent's tooth is
In thy hands.
Shun the tree---
Meeting At Night My Star
The grey sea and the long black land; All that I know
And the yellow half-moon large and low; Of a certain star,
And the startled little waves that leap Is, it can throw
In fiery ringlets from their sleep, (Like the angled spar)
As I gain the cove with pushing prow, Now a dart of red,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand. Now a dart of blue,
Till my friends have said
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach; They would fain see, too,
Three fields to cross till a farm appears; My star that dartles the red and the blue!
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs furled:
And blue spurt of a lighted match, They must solace themselves with the Saturn above
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears, it.
Than the two hearts beating each to each! What matter to me if their star is a world?
Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.
Pauline: A Fragment of a Confession (1833) Anonymous
Christmas-Eve and Easter-Day (1850)
Two Poems (1854) By Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Men and Women (1855) Two volumes; one volume.
The Poetical Works of Robert Browning (1868) Six volumes.
The Ring and the Book (1868) Two volumes.
Red Cotton Night-Cap Country; or, Turf and Towers (1873)
The Inn Album (1875)
Pacchiarotto and How He Worked in Distemper, with Other Poems (1876)
La Saisiaz, and The Two Poets of Croisicv (1878)
Dramatic Idyls (1879)
Dramatic Idyls: Second Series (1880)
Ferishtah's Fancies (1884)
Parleyings with Certain People of Importance in Their Day (1887)
Asolando: Fancies and Facts (1889)
Complete Poetic and Dramatic Works of Robert Browning (1895) Cambridge Edition,
edited by G. W. Cooke and H. E. Scudder.
The Complete Works of Robert Browning (1898) Florentine Edition, edited by
Porter and Helen A. Clarke, 12 volumes.
The Works of Robert Browning (1912) Centenary Edition, edited by Frederic G.
New Poems by Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1914) Edited by
Robert Browning: The Ring and the Book (1971) Edited by Richard D. Altick
The Brownings to the Tennysons (1971) Edited by Thomas J. Collins.
Thomas Jones, The Divine Order: Sermons (1884) Introduction by
Letters of Robert Browning Collected by Thomas J. Wise (1933)
Edited by Thurman L. Hood.
Robert Browning and Julia Wedgwood: A Broken Friendship as
Revealed in Their Letters (1937) Edited by Richard Curle.
New Letters of Robert Browning (1950) Edited by William Clyde
DeVane and Kenneth Leslie Knickerbocker.
Dearest Isa: Browning's Letters to Isa Blagden (1951) Edited by
Edward C. McAleer.
Browning to His American Friends (1965) Letters between the
Brownings, the Storys, and James Russell Lowell, 1841-1890.
Edited by Gertrude Reese Hudson.
Learned Lady: Letters from Robert Browning to Mrs. Thomas
FitzGerald 1876-1889 (1966) Edited by Edward C. McAleer.
The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett, 1845-1846
(1969) Edited by Evan Kintner, 2 volumes. (www.poets.org)
Strafford: An Historical Tragedy (1837)
Bells and Pomegranates. No. I - Pippa Passes (1841)
Bells and Pomegranates. No. II - King Victor and King Charles
Bells and Pomegranates. No. III - Dramatic Lyrics (1842)
Bells and Pomegranates. No. V - A Blot in the 'Scutcheon: A
Tragedy in Five Acts (1843) Edited.
Bells and Pomegranates. No. V - Colombe's Birthday: A Play in
Five Acts (1844)
Bells and Pomegranates. No. VII - Dramatic Romances & Lyrics
Bells and Pomegranates. No. VIII - and Last, Luria; and A Soul's
Poems: A New Edition (1849) Two volumes.
Dramatis Personae (1864)
Balaustion's Adventure, Including a Transcript from Euripides
Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society (1871)
Fifine at the Fair (1872)
Aristophanes' Apology (1875) Including a Transcript from
Euripides: Being the Last Adventures of Balaustion.
Bells and Pomegranates, No. IV - The Return of the Druses: A
Tragedy in Five Acts (1943) (www.poets.org)
The Agamemnon of Aeschylus