Robert Browning



Robert Browning is buried in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, London, England. His memorial stone is made from Italian marble and porphyry.

Burial Stone of Robert Browning
Photograph by Mike Reed

Browning grew up in Camberwell in south-east London. He was educated at home where he had access to his father's extensive library. At an early age he was inspired by the work of romantic poets such as Byron, Keats and Shelley. In 1828 he began a course at London University but abandoned it in his second term.

In 1845 he began corresponding with Elizabeth Barrett after reading and enjoying some of her poems. Due to opposition from Elizabeth's father the couple eventually married in secret and then eloped to Italy in 1846. There they had a son together - Robert Wiedmann Barrett Browning - who was known by the nickname 'Pen'.

Although quintessentially a Victorian poet, Browning's work was hugely influential in heralding in modernism. In particular, his dramatic monologues such as My Last Duchess and Bishop Blougram's Apology provided inspiration for the work of both T.S.Eliot and Ezra Pound.

Robert Browning

After his wife's death in 1861 Browning returned to England and continued to write poetry.

Browning died in Venice in 1889 and it was his wish to be buried alongside his wife in the English Cemetery in Florence however, by that stage, the city authorities had prohibited any new burials.

Browning never achieved the commercial success of Tennyson. However, in his old age he was a hugely respected literary figure. He received an honorary degree from Oxford University and in 1881 The Browning Society was founded.

His best known collections include The Ring and the Book (1868-69) and Men and Women (1855). His last collection of poems Asolando was published on the day of his death.

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!

Home Thoughts from Abroad (complete poem)

The Browning Society

Read more of Browning's poetry






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