Browning

Browning

[brou-ning]
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 1806-61, English poet, b. Durham. A delicate and precocious child, she spent a great part of her early life in a state of semi-invalidism. She read voraciously—philosophy, history, literature—and she wrote verse. In 1838 the Barrett family moved to 50 Wimpole St., London. Six years later Elizabeth published Poems, which brought her immediate fame. The volume was a favorite of the poet Robert Browning, and he began to correspond with her. The two fell in love, but their courtship was secret because of the opposition of Elizabeth's tyrannical father. They married in 1846 and traveled to Italy, where most of their married life was spent and where their one son was born. Mrs. Browning threw herself into the cause of Italian liberation from Austria. "Casa Guidi," their home in Florence, is preserved as a memorial. Happy in her marriage, Mrs. Browning recovered her health in Italy, and her work as a poet gained in strength and significance. Her greatest poetry, Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850), was inspired by her own love story. Casa Guidi Windows (1851), on Italian liberty, and Aurora Leigh (1857), a novel in verse, followed. During her lifetime Mrs. Browning was considered a better poet than her husband. Today her life and personality excite more interest than her work. Although as a poet she has been criticized for diffuseness, pedantry, and sentimentality, she reveals in such poems as "The Cry of the Children" and some of the Sonnets from the Portuguese a highly individual gift for lyric poetry.

Bibliography

See The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1845-46 (1899, new ed. 1930); R. Besier, The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1930), the most popular dramatization of the Brownings' love story; biographies by G. B. Taplin (1957), I. C. Clarke (1929, repr. 1970), and M. Forster (1989); The Courtship of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning (1985) by D. Karlin; studies by H. Cooper (1988) and G. Stephenson (1989); bibliography by W. Barnes (1967).

Browning, Orville Hickman, 1806-81, U.S. Secretary of the Interior (1866-69), b. Harrison co., Ky. One of the organizers of the Republican party in Illinois, Browning helped secure his friend Lincoln's nomination (1860) for President, but later, as U.S. Senator from Illinois (1861-63), he opposed Lincoln on the emancipation question. After Lincoln's death Browning supported Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction policy in opposition to the radical Republicans. He joined Johnson's cabinet in Sept., 1866, and was one of the President's closest friends and advisers during the impeachment struggle. His diary, edited by T. C. Pease and J. G. Randall (2 vol., 1927-33), is an important and detailed source for the Lincoln and Johnson administrations.

See biography by M. G. Baxter (1957).

Browning, Robert, 1812-89, English poet. His remarkably broad and sound education was primarily the work of his artistic and scholarly parents—in particular his father, a London bank clerk of independent means. Pauline, his first poem, was published anonymously in 1833. In 1834 he visited Italy, which eventually became his second homeland. He won some recognition with Paracelsus (1835) and Sordello (1840). In 1837, urged by William Macready, the Shakespearean actor, Browning began writing for the stage. Although not especially successful, he wrote eight verse plays during the next nine years, two of which were produced—Strafford in 1837 and A Blot in the 'Scutcheon in 1843. The narrative poem Pippa Passes appeared in 1841; it and subsequent poems were later published collectively as Bells and Pomegranates (1846). Included were "My Last Duchess" and "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister," both dramatic monologues; this form proved to be the ideal medium for Browning's poetic genius. Other notable poems of this kind are "Fra Lippo Lippi," "Andrea del Sarto," and "The Bishop Orders His Tomb." In 1846, after a romantic courtship, Browning secretly married the poet Elizabeth Barrett and took her to Italy, where they lived for 15 happy years. There he wrote Christmas Eve and Easter Day (1850) and Men and Women (1855). In 1861, after the death of his wife, he returned to England, where he wrote Dramatis Personae (1864). This was followed by what is considered his masterpiece, the murder story The Ring and the Book (4 vol., 1868-69). Set in 17th-century Italy, the poem reveals, through a series of dramatic dialogues, how a single event—a murder—is perceived by different people. Browning gained recognition slowly, but after the publication of this work he was acclaimed a great poet. Societies were instituted for the study of his work in England and America. His later works include Dramatic Idyls (2 vol., 1879-80) and Asolando (1889). Browning's thought is persistently optimistic. He believed in commitment to life. His psychological portraits in verse, ironic and indirect in presentation, and his experiments in diction and rhythm have made him an important influence on 20th-century poetry. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

See variously published volumes of his letters; complete works, ed. by R. A. King (5 vol., 1967-82); biographies by M. Ward (2 vol., 1967-69), B. Miller (1952, repr. 1973), and W. Irvine and P. Honan (1974); studies by R. Langbaum (1963), P. Drew (1966 and 1970), R. E. Gridley (1972), T. Blackburn (1967, repr. 1973), and J. Woolford (1988).

(born May 7, 1812, London, Eng.—died Dec. 12, 1889, Venice, Italy) British poet. His early works include verse dramas, notably Pippa Passes (1841), and long poems, including Sordello (1840). In the years of his marriage (1846–61) to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, spent in Italy, he produced little other than Men and Women (1855), which contains dramatic lyrics such as “Love Among the Ruins” and the great monologues “Fra Lippo Lippi” and “Bishop Blougram's Apology.” Dramatis Personae (1864), including “Rabbi Ben Ezra” and “Caliban upon Setebos,” finally won him popular recognition. The Ring and the Book (1868–69), a book-length poem, is based on a 1698 murder trial in Rome. Browning influenced many modern poets through his development of the dramatic monologue (with its emphasis on individual psychology) and through his success in writing about the variety of modern life in language his contemporaries found often difficult as well as original.

Learn more about Browning, Robert with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Elizabeth Barrett

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, detail of an oil painting by Michele Gordigiani, 1858; in the National elipsis

(born March 6, 1806, near Durham, Durham, Eng.—died June 29, 1861, Florence) British poet. Though she was an invalid who was afraid to meet strangers, her poetry became well known in literary circles with the publication of volumes of verse in 1838 and 1844. She met Robert Browning in 1845 and, after a courtship kept secret from her despotic father, they married and settled in Florence. Her reputation rests chiefly on the love poems written during their courtship, Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850). Her most ambitious work, the blank-verse novel Aurora Leigh (1857), was a huge popular success.

Learn more about Browning, Elizabeth Barrett with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born May 7, 1812, London, Eng.—died Dec. 12, 1889, Venice, Italy) British poet. His early works include verse dramas, notably Pippa Passes (1841), and long poems, including Sordello (1840). In the years of his marriage (1846–61) to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, spent in Italy, he produced little other than Men and Women (1855), which contains dramatic lyrics such as “Love Among the Ruins” and the great monologues “Fra Lippo Lippi” and “Bishop Blougram's Apology.” Dramatis Personae (1864), including “Rabbi Ben Ezra” and “Caliban upon Setebos,” finally won him popular recognition. The Ring and the Book (1868–69), a book-length poem, is based on a 1698 murder trial in Rome. Browning influenced many modern poets through his development of the dramatic monologue (with its emphasis on individual psychology) and through his success in writing about the variety of modern life in language his contemporaries found often difficult as well as original.

Learn more about Browning, Robert with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Elizabeth Barrett

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, detail of an oil painting by Michele Gordigiani, 1858; in the National elipsis

(born March 6, 1806, near Durham, Durham, Eng.—died June 29, 1861, Florence) British poet. Though she was an invalid who was afraid to meet strangers, her poetry became well known in literary circles with the publication of volumes of verse in 1838 and 1844. She met Robert Browning in 1845 and, after a courtship kept secret from her despotic father, they married and settled in Florence. Her reputation rests chiefly on the love poems written during their courtship, Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850). Her most ambitious work, the blank-verse novel Aurora Leigh (1857), was a huge popular success.

Learn more about Browning, Elizabeth Barrett with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Browning is a village in Schuyler County, Illinois, United States. The population was 130 at the 2000 census.

Geography

Browning is located at (40.129321, -90.372441).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 130 people, 57 households, and 38 families residing in the village. The population density was 419.0 people per square mile (161.9/km²). There were 63 housing units at an average density of 203.1/sq mi (78.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.23% White and 0.77% Native American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.54% of the population. There were 57 households out of which 19.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.9% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.79.

In the village the population was spread out with 16.2% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 18.5% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 27.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $44,107, and the median income for a family was $50,625. Males had a median income of $31,667 versus $21,667 for females. The per capita income for the village was $18,109. There were no families and 3.7% of the population living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 10.3% of those over 64.

References

External links

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