The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning: 1845-1846

The Floating Press
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When Robert Browning first met the ailing Elizabeth Barrett in 1845 it must have seemed to him like something from a gothic novel. All but a prisoner to her strict, disciplinarian father, (who had forbidden all twelve of his children from marrying and disinherited any who disobeyed him), Elizabeth had recently published a book of poems that had made her one of the most lauded writers in the land. Robert, enamored by Elizabeth's poems sought out a correspondence and after hundreds of letters had been exchanged between the two poets, Elizabeth finally agreed to meet him, beginning one of the most celebrated courtships in history. The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning chronicles the development of this remarkable relationship in the poets' own words and is a beautiful tribute to romantic love and literary sensibilities.
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About the author

Robert Browning was the son of a well-to-do clerk in the Bank of England. He was educated by private tutors and from his own reading in his father's library and elsewhere. Browning's first publication was Pauline (1833). The work made no stir at all. The following year Browning went to St. Petersburg and from there to Italy. On his return to England in 1835 he published Paracelsus, a dramatic poem based on the life of the fifteenth-century magician and alchemist. Browning next attempted a play. Strafford was the first of the poet's dramatic failures; it ran only five nights at Covent Garden in 1836. An obscure and difficult poem, Sordello, appeared in 1840. It did a great deal toward giving Browning a reputation for being unintelligible and for limiting the circles of his readers. The most important event in Browning's life occurred in 1846, when he married Elizabeth Barrett. The marriage brought a new lightness and openness of voice to Browning's verse during the next 21 years, resulting in the great dramatic monologues of Men and Women in 1855 and the epic The Ring and the Book in 1867. It is not that these are the most beautiful poems of the Victorian Age, but they are the most perceptive; they reveal more clearly the men and women who speak the monologues, and the poet who conceived them, than any comparable works of the century. In the last two decades of his life Browning produced only a few great poems but much were grotesque and fantastic. He turned, too, to translations and transcriptions from the Greek tragedies; in spite of some powerful passages, these were not highly successful Robert Browning died in Italy in 1889. His body lies in Westminster Abbey.

Elizabeth Barrett was born in Coxhoe Hall, Durham, England, in 1806. Most of her childhood was spent on her father's estate, reading the classics and writing poetry. An injury to her spine when she was fifteen, the shock of her brother's death by drowning in 1840 and an ogre-like father made her life dark. But she read and wrote, and no little volume of verse ever produced a richer return than her Poems of 1844. Robert Browning read the poems, liked them, and came to her rescue like Prince Charming in the fairy story. Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning were married on September 12, 1846. Barrett Browning's enduring fame has rested on two works-Poems (1850), containing Sonnets from the Portuguese, and Aurora Leigh (1857). The former is a celebration of woman as man's other half and the latter is a celebration of woman's potential to stand on her own. During the Edwardian and later periods, it was Sonnets from the Portuguese that embodied Barrett Browning. Since the rise of feminism, it has been Aurora Leigh. More recently, a third side of Barrett Browning has been revealed: the incisive critical and political commentator, seen in her letters. Elizabeth Barrett Browning died in Florence, Italy, in 1861.

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Additional Information

Publisher
The Floating Press
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Published on
Jan 1, 2009
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Pages
778
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ISBN
9781877527678
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Reference
Literary Collections / Letters
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This carefully crafted ebook: "The Pied Piper of Hamelin (Illustrated Edition)‰Û� is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the subject of a legend concerning the disappearance or death of a great number of kids from the town of Hamelin (Hameln), Lower Saxony, Germany, in the Middle Ages. The earliest references describe a piper, dressed in multicolored ("pied") clothing, leading the kids away from the town never to return. In the 16th century the story was expanded into a full narrative, in which the piper is a rat-catcher hired by the town to lure rats away with his magic pipe. When the citizens refuse to pay for this service, he retaliates by turning his power that he put in his instrument on their children, leading them away as he had the rats. This version of the story spread as folklore and has also appeared in the writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Brothers Grimm and Robert Browning, among others. Using the Verstegan/Wanley version of the tale and adopting the 1376 date, Browning's verse retelling is notable for its humor, wordplay, and jingling rhymes. Robert Browning (1812-1889) was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, and in particular the dramatic monologue, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets. His poems are known for their irony, characterization, dark humor, social commentary, historical settings, and challenging vocabulary and syntax. The speakers in his poems are often musicians or painters whose work functions as a metaphor for poetry.
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