An Introduction to the Study of Browning eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 299 pages of information about An Introduction to the Study of Browning.

Such, so far as I can realise my conception of him, is Robert Browning; and such the tenour of his work as a whole.  It is time to pass from general considerations to particular ones; from characteristics of the writer to characteristics of the poems.  In the pages to follow I shall endeavour to present a critical chronicle of Browning’s works; not neglecting to give due information about each, but not confining myself to the mere giving of information.  It is hoped that the quotations for which I may find room will practically illustrate and convincingly corroborate what I have to say about the poetry from which they are taken.


[Footnote 1:  Luria, Act iii.]

[Footnote 2:  Aurora Leigh, Book Fifth.]

[Footnote 3:  Walter Pater, The Renaissance, p, 226.]

[Footnote 4:  Aurora Leigh, Book Third.]

[Footnote 5:  Preface to Poems, 1853.]

[Footnote 6:  George Chapman:  A Critical Essay, 1875.]

[Footnote 7:  Works, 1847, Preface to Sermons, pp. viii.-ix., where will also be found some exceedingly sensible remarks, which I commend to those whom it concerns, on persons “who take it for granted that they are acquainted with everything; and that no subject, if treated in the manner it should be, can be treated in any manner but what is familiar and easy to them.”]

[Footnote 8:  “Realism in Dramatic Art,” New Quarterly Magazine, Oct., 1879.]

[Footnote 9:  Allowing at its highest valuation all that need be allowed on this score, we find only that Mr. Browning has the defects of his qualities; and from these who is exempted?  By virtue of this style of his he has succeeded in rendering into words the inmost thoughts and finest shades of feeling of the “men and women fashioned by his fancy,” and in such a task we can pardon even a fault, for such a result we can overlook even a blemish; as Lessing, in Laokoon, remarking on an error in Raphael’s drapery, finely says, “Who will not rather praise him for having had the wisdom and the courage to commit a slight fault, for the sake of greater fulness of expression?”]

[Footnote 10:  George Meredith, Diana of the Crossways.]

[Footnote 11:  Italians, it is pleasant to remember, have warmly welcomed the poet who has known and loved Italy best.  “Her town and country, her churches and her ruins, her sorrows and her hopes,” said Prof.  Nencioni, as long ago as 1867, “are constantly sung by him.  How he loves the land that inspires him he has shown by his long residence among us, and by the thrilling, almost lover-like tone with which he speaks of our dear country.  ‘Open my heart and you will see, Graved inside of it Italy,’ as he exclaims in De Gustibus.”]


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