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THE LETTERS OF ROBERT BROWNING AND ELIZABETH BARRETT BARRETT 1845-1846 R.B. to E.B.B. New Cross, Hatcham, Surrey.[Post-mark, January 10, 1845.] I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett,—and this is no off-hand complimentary letter that I shall write,—whatever else, no prompt matter-of-course recognition of your genius, and there a graceful and natural end of the thing. Since the day last week when I first... more...

THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN Listen I. 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 soFrom vermin, was a pity.   Listen II. Rats!They fought the dogs and killed the cats,And bit the babies in the cradles,   And ate the cheeses out of the... more...

THE LIFE OF BROWNING Robert Browning, the poet, was the third of that name. The first Robert Browning, a man of energy and ability, held an important post in the Bank of England. His wife, Margaret Tittle, was a Creole from the West Indies, and at the time of her marriage her property was still in the estates owned by her father near St. Kitts. When their son, the second Robert, was seven years of age, his mother died, and his father afterwards... more...

INTRODUCTION Thirteen years after the publication, in 1855, of the Poems, in two volumes, entitled "Men and Women," Browning reviewed his work and made an interesting reclassification of it. He separated the simpler pieces of a lyric or epic cast—such rhymed presentations of an emotional moment, for example, as "Mesmerism" and "A Woman's Last Word," or the picturesque rhymed verse telling a story of an experience, such as "Childe Roland"... more...

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. A belief was current in Mr. Browning's lifetime that he had Jewish blood in his veins.... more...


INTRODUCTION [The Dramatic Romances,...] enriched by some of the poems originally printed in Men and Women, and a few from Dramatic Lyrics as first printed, include some of Browning's finest and most characteristic work. In several of them the poet displays his familiarity with the life and spirit of the Renaissance—a period portrayed by him with a fidelity more real than history—for he enters into the feelings that give rise to... more...

I Out of the little chapel I burst  Into the fresh night-air again.Five minutes full, I waited first  In the doorway, to escape the rainThat drove in gusts down the common's centre  At the edge of which the chapel stands,Before I plucked up heart to enter.  Heaven knows how many sorts of handsReached past me, groping for the latchOf the inner door that hung on catchMore obstinate the more they... more...

My dear Dr. Corson, I waited some days after the arrival of your Book and Letter, thinking I might be able to say more of my sense of your goodness: but I can do no more now than a week ago. You "hope I shall not find too much to disapprove of": what I ought to protest against, is "a load to sink a navy—too much honor": how can I put aside your generosity, as if cold justice—however befitting myself— would be in better... more...

INTRODUCTORY NOTE ROBERT BROWNING stands, in respect to his origin and his career, in marked contrast to the two aristocratic poets beside whose dramas his "Blot in the 'Scutcheon" is here printed. His father was a bank clerk and a dissenter at a time when dissent meant exclusion from Society; the poet went neither to one of the great public schools nor to Oxford or Cambridge; and no breath of scandal touched his name. Born in London in 1812, he... more...