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In 1845, Browning met the poet Elizabeth Barrett, six years his elder, who lived as a semi-invalid in her father's house in Wimpole Street, London. They began regularly corresponding and gradually a romance developed between them, leading to their marriage and journey to Italy (for Elizabeth's health) on 12 September 1846. The marriage was initially secret because Elizabeth's domineering father disapproved of marriage for any of his children. Mr. Barrett disinherited Elizabeth, as he did for each of his children who married: "The Mrs. Browning of popular imagination was a sweet, innocent young woman who suffered endless cruelties at the hands of a tyrannical papa but who nonetheless had the good fortune to fall in love with a dashing and handsome poet named Robert Browning."
Robert Browning (1812-1889) was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, and in particular the dramatic monologue, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 - 1861) was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both Britain and the United States during her lifetime.
Written in a fluent and easy style that makes reading a pleasure, this new history has the merit of literary quality, and the author’s quiet, unobtrusive sense of humour eliminates the slightest suspicion of dullness or heaviness, without in any way detracting from the seriousness of his objective or the dignity and importance that even the most rabid devotee of the Royal and Ancient would claim for it. The work also provides ample evidence of the author’s industry and research, and, in keeping with his position as editor of Golfing, conveys a quiet assurance of authority.
The book deals with every aspect of the history of the game, from its earliest beginnings to the modern era of American ascendency. There are 34 chapters and a chronological table covering 600 years from 1353 to the 1950’s. We select here, more or less at random, a few of the subjects dealt with: Seven successive monarchs of the Stuart line as players—The golf of the House of Windsor—Golf as a cross-country game—The Celtic hurley, and the Belgian chole—The Scots game and the Dutch—The origin of golfing terms—Golf before the formation of clubs—Competitions came before clubs—The beginning of the championships—The start of the university match—How golf came to London—The golf boom of the gay nineties—The beginning of golf in America—The evolution of the professionals—Women’s golf originally a part of the feminist movement—Clubs and balls; wooden balls; the old featheries; the coming of the ‘gutties’; the arrival of the rubber core—Course construction—The rise of the golf architects—The evolution of the rules—American thoroughness makes golf a science instead of an art—International golf; the Walker, Ryder, and Curtis Cups—The game as a preserver of ancient landmarks—The genius of golf, the only game in which the worst player gets the best of it.
With classics such as ‘My Last Duchess’ and ‘The Pied Piper Of Hamelin’ Robert Browning’s status as one of the great Victorian Poets will always be secure in popular culture. For the more literary he is considered a master of dramatic verse and dramatic monologues. It is interesting to note that his career bloomed late. Indeed it was only after the death of his wife Elizabeth in 1861 and his return to England from their life in Italy that his work came into wider acceptance and critical acclaim. In the last years of his life he recorded part of a poem on a wax cylinder which was played after his death. It was said to be the first time anyone’s voice had been heard from beyond the grave!
"My Last Duchess" is a poem, frequently anthologised as an example of the dramatic monologue. It first appeared in 1842 in Browning's Dramatic Lyrics. The poem is written in 28 rhymed couplets of iambic pentameter. The poem is set during the late Italian Renaissance. The speaker (presumably the Duke of Ferrara) is giving the emissary of the family of his prospective new wife (presumably a third or fourth since Browning could have easily written 'second' but did not do so) a tour of the artworks in his home. He draws a curtain to reveal a painting of a woman, explaining that it is a portrait of his late wife; he invites his guest to sit and look at the painting.
Robert Browning (1812 - 1889) was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, and in particular the dramatic monologue, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets. His poems are known for their irony, characterization, dark humor, social commentary, historical settings, and challenging vocabulary and syntax. The speakers in his poems are often musicians or painters whose work functions as a metaphor for poetry.
This collection presents the Brownings’ work in the context of their lives: the early years and their initial friendship, their courtship and marriage, the fifteen happy years they spent living in Italy until Elizabeth’s death. Whether in short poems such as Elizabeth’s “Hector in the Garden” and Robert’s “Natural Magic,” or in extracts from longer works such as Aurora Leigh and Pauline, the great themes they shared are all represented: love, marriage, illicit passion, England and Italy, childhood, religion, poetry, and nature. Elizabeth’s famous Sonnets from the Portuguese, based on their love affair, is included in its entirety.
The poems are augmented with a generous selection of the marvelous letters the Brownings wrote to each other.