Browning, Robert


Browning, Robert

biographical name

(born May 7, 1812, London, Eng.—died Dec. 12, 1889, Venice, Italy) British poet. His early works include verse dramas, notably Pippa Passes (1841), and long poems, including Sordello (1840). In the years of his marriage (1846–61) to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, spent in Italy, he produced little other than Men and Women (1855), which contains dramatic lyrics such as “Love Among the Ruins” and the great monologues “Fra Lippo Lippi” and “Bishop Blougram's Apology.” Dramatis Personae (1864), including “Rabbi Ben Ezra” and “Caliban upon Setebos,” finally won him popular recognition. The Ring and the Book (1868–69), a book-length poem, is based on a 1698 murder trial in Rome. Browning influenced many modern poets through his development of the dramatic monologue (with its emphasis on individual psychology) and through his success in writing about the variety of modern life in language his contemporaries found often difficult as well as original.

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