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Browning’s bad timing

By Hannah Rosefield  

History has not treated the Victorian poets kindly. Writing during the age of the novel, and caught between the Romantics’ poetic riches and the modernists’ iconoclasm, Victorian poets were overlooked for much of the 20th century—or worse, condemned as staid, pompous or irrelevant. It is Robert Browning’s additional misfortune to have been born just three months after Charles Dickens (7th May 1812 to Dickens’s 7th February). Compared to the slew of documentaries,…

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