Robert Browning

Adam Roberts (Royal Holloway, University of London)
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Browning was born in Camberwell, south London, in 1812; the son of a banker father and a devoutly religious mother; he had one younger sister, Sarianna. The family were financially comfortable, and he was never troubled with having to earn his own living; but Browning looked about for something to do with his life. He enrolled in the newly formed London University in 1828 (as only the sixteenth entrant), but dropped out after a year; in 1834 he travelled to Saint Petersburg as the secretary of the Chevalier de Benkhausen, possibly contemplating a diplomatic career. But by this stage his heart was already given to poetry. Reading in his father's extensive library throughout his youth, he had first fallen in love with Byron, producing a volume (now lost) of Byronic verses called


1767 words

Citation: Roberts, Adam. "Robert Browning". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2001 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

5162 Robert Browning 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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