Robert Browning, a short bio: His parents were wealthy, and his father had a huge
library. Robert Browning was “gifted” and sent to school, but expelled for being “too
smart.” He was homeschooled, mainly on weekends and got his love of literature from
the many books his father had. He wrote his first collection of poems when he was 12,
but having found no publisher, destroyed it.
He was a huge fan of the Romantic poets, especially Shelly, and he became an atheist and
vegetarian after reading him.
At 16, he went to University but left a year later. He stayed at home until he was married
at 34, dependent on his father’s money. His father sponsored his publications. He wasn’t
very popular at first. Critics said he was dense, difficult to read, after the publication of
Sordello. His publisher asked him to write shorter pieces, a series of 8 pamphlets, which
gave him some fame. By the time he was writing “The Book and the Ring,” he was
starting to be known.
He married a poet who was an invalid and stuck in her oppressive parents’ house. They
started talking via letter and literally fell in love. He went to Italy to marry her and live
with her—for her health. She died, and in “The Book and The Ring,” he references her.
His preferred writing style was the dramatic verse, and the dramatic monologue, which
got him famous and which he kept for his entire career.
Necromancy: to bring to life from death. The poem brought back to life the murdertrial
of impoverished nobleman, Count Gui