chapter
2 Pages

Introduction

This is a study of Robert Browning (1812-1889), a poet who has been described as ‘the most considerable poet in English since the major Romantics’ (Bloom and Trilling 1973: 493). Growing up in the aftermath of Romanticism, he developed a poetry innovative in form and style, covering subjects ranging from murder, hatred, and decadence, to heroism and romance. Contemporary readers initially failed to appreciate his work, and only in the 1860s, when he was in his fifties, did it come to enjoy wide recognition. In the twentieth century, the reaction against things Victorian and the aesthetics of Modernism both lowered his reputation, but in the second half of the century he emerged once more as a major poet, particularly in relation to the confusions and scepticisms of postmodern thought.