ROBERT BROWNING by Betty Miller
Kirkus Star

ROBERT BROWNING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A sensitively evaluative and interpretative study of the man and the poet who was too often submerged in the romantic legend of the Browning story- much as he was to depreciate himself and his writing in the years of his intense dedication to Elizabeth Barrett. As ""turbulent in sickness as in health"", Browning is always a fervent figure- from his boisterous boyhood when the too absorbing relationship with his mother prefaced the ""deserted landscape of his emotional life"" in which he established only faint contacts before the meeting with Elizabeth Barrett. And once again, there's the drama of his impetuous intrusion into her life, into ""the stale airs of the sickroom, the staler airs of an ingrown family relationship""- and the marriage which followed a succession of delays and in which he sought to recover the protected insulation of his childhood. The years in Italy, and the occasional but always saddening visits to England, the hothouse seclusion of Casa Guidi where her death was held at a standstill; her last illness, and finally the return to England, which brought with it the return of his creative power through to the last years of fulfillment and fame- his story too has its own intense interest.... An integration of his work and his life, this is also a perceptive portrait of volatile temperaments and the rarefied climate of sensibility to give this study its personal as well as literary fascination.

Publisher: Scribner