Browning, Robert (18121889)

Browning, Robert, poet, one of the two greatest in the Victorian era, born in Camberwell; early given to write verses; prepared himself for his literary career by reading through Johnson's Dictionary; his first poem “Pauline” (q.v.) published in 1833, which was followed by “Paracelsus” in 1835, “Sordello” in 1840; after a time, in which he was not idle, appeared, with some of his “Dramatic Romances and Lyrics,” in 1855 his “Men and Women,” and in 1868 “The Ring and the Book” (q.v.), his longest poem, and more analytic than poetic; this was succeeded by a succession of others, finishing up with “Asolando,” which appeared the day he died at Venice; was a poet of great subtlety, deep insight, creative power, and strong faith, of a genius and learning which there are few able to compass the length and breadth of; lies buried in Westminster Abbey; of Browning it has been said by Professor Saintsbury, “Timor mortis non conturbabat, 'the fear of death did not trouble him.' In the browner shades of age as well as in the spring of youth he sang, not like most poets, Love and Death, but Love and Life.... 'James Lee,' 'Rabbi Ben Ezra,' and 'Prospice' are among the greatest poems of the century.” His creed was an optimism of the brightest, and his restful faith “it is all right with the world” (18121889).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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