1st Edition

The Poems of Browning: Volume Four 1862 - 1871

Edited By John Woolford, Daniel Karlin, Joseph Phelan Copyright 2012
    612 Pages
    by Routledge

    612 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Poems of Robert Browning is a multi-volume edition of the poetry of Robert Browning (1812 -1889) resulting from a completely fresh appraisal of the canon, text and context of his work. The poems are presented in the order of their composition and in the text in which they were first published, giving a unique insight into the origins and development of Browning's art. Annotations and headnotes, in keeping with the traditions of Longman Annotated English Poets, are full and informative and provide details of composition, publication, sources and contemporary reception.

    Volumes one (1826-1840) and two (1841-1846) presented the poems from his Browning's early years, while volume three (1847-61) covered the period of his marriage to Elizabeth Barrett and residence in Italy. Volume four (1862-71) deals with the decade following Elizabeth's death and Browning's return to England. These years saw the appearance of some of his most significant work, and a steady rise in his critical reputation. In Dramatis Personae (1864), Browning uses his characteristic "dramatic" mode to expose predicaments of thought and feeling, in characters ranging from Shakespeare's Caliban to the cheating medium, "Mr Sludge"; other poems dramatize Browning's complicated feelings about the deceptions and self-deceptions of romantic love. Balaustion's Adventure (1871) is an engaging reworking of Euripides' Alcestis, whose theme, the resurrection of a beloved lost wife, has poignant personal resonance for Browning;while Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, published in the same year, offers a thinly-veiled account of the life and actions of Napoleon III, the recently deposed Emperor of France, over whom Browning and Elizabeth had quarrelled. In these two long poems, Browning can be seen engaged in the dialogue with Elizabeth that was to shape much of his work during the remainder of his writing life.

    123: Deaf and Dumb; 124: Caliban Upon Setebos; or Natural Theology in the Island; 125: Too Late; 126: Confessions; 127: A Likeness; 128: Rabbi Ben Ezra; 129: James Lee; 130: Gold Hair; 131: Dîs Aliter Visum; or, Le Byron de nos Jours; 132: Youth and Art; 133: The Worst of It; 134: Apparent Failure; 135: A Death in the Desert; 136: Abt Vogler (after he has been extemporizing upon the musical instrument of his invention); 137: Prospice; 138: Mr. Sludge, �€�the Medium�€?; 139: Epilogue; 140: Very Original Poem, written with even a greater endeavour than ordinary after intelligibility, and hitherto only published on the first leaf of the Author's Son's Account-book; 141: Lines for a picture by Leighton [Eurydice to Orpheus]; 142: Impromptu on Edward Burne-Jones (�€�Don't play with sharp tools'); 143: Hervé Riel; 144: Epigram on Swinburne; 145: Burlesque on the Pronunciation of �€�Metamorphosis'; 146: A Round Robin; 147: Helen's Tower; 148: The Dogma Triumphant; 149: Mettle and Metal; 150: Balaustion's Adventure Including a Transcript from Euripides; 151: Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society; 152: Epigram on Dickens


    Daniel Karlin is Winterstoke Professor of English Literature at the University of Bristol.

    Joseph Phelan is a Reader in Nineteenth-Century Literature at De Montfort University.

    John Woolford is Professor Emeritus of nineteenth-century literature and culture at the University of Manchester and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield.