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Robert Browning Essay

1672 words - 7 pages

Robert Browning

Robert Browning was born on May 7, 1812 in a house on Southampton Street in Camberwell England. This was located in the new Suburbs of London. He was born to the parents of Sarah Anna Widerman and Robert Browning Senior. On the night of his birth a comet blazed over England. Browning had one younger sister born in 1814 named Sarina.

Browning was born to very liberal art parents. His father loved painting and wanted to be an artist. He also loved to read and had a library of 6000 books. Some of these books were original editions. He turned down a sugar plantation that was left to him by his mother in India because they used slaves. Browning Senior became a clerk at the Bank of England.

Sarah Browning was a typical Victorian wife and mother. She took excellent care of her kids and house. She loved gardening, was a good pianist, and would read to her kids when they were small.

Browning had a very close relationship with his family and always had the deepest respect for his parents and family. His childhood is often described as very uneventful, his family lived in a country neighborhood and although they were not rich they were considered upper middle class. So they could indulge in giving their kid whatever education they desired. Browning’s parents were very supportive to the type of education their children received.

No one knows when he started writing poetry his earliest attempts at writing mimic Byron or Wild Ossianic. But at about nine years old he wrote a poem on Napoleon Bonaparte, Browning’s father thought it to be a good poem for a nine-year-old to write. Browning was sent to school before he was five years old. He was eventually was removed from the school because he had learned all that he could and had even surpassed the oldest children’s learning ability in the school. He was home tutored for two years than sent to preparatory school. He lived at this school and returned home on the weekends. Browning hated being subjected to classroom discipline. He complained about it in his first long poem, Pauline, although how much of it is true is questioned. He made few friends in school because of his cocky attitude. Browning had a volume of verses called Incondita at age twelve. His parents tried to find a publisher but could not; Browning eventually destroyed the manuscript. But the people who read the collection enjoyed it.

He left the prep school at fourteen when he felt that he had learned all he could. For two years he stayed at home reading all the books in his fathers library that he had not already read. He also studied Italian and French. Browning's parents wanted him to be very well rounded. So they sent him to study counterpoint with John Relfe a musician in ordinary to the King. He was also was given piano lessons, drawing lessons, was taught to ride, box, dance, and fence.

Browning’s parents also wanted him to go to a university, so they donated money to London University and it opened...

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