- Robert Browning - Behind the Mask [According To...]
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26 June, 2013

Robert Browning
According To...

"My poems represent, on the whole, the main movement of mind of the last quarter of the century, and thus they will probably have their day as people become conscious to themselves of what that movement of mind is, and interested in the literary productions which reflect it. It might be fairly urged that I have less poetical sentiment than Tennyson, and less intellectual vigor and abundance than Browning; yet, because I have perhaps more of a fusion of the two than either of them, and have more regularly applied that fusion to the main line of modern development, I am likely enough to have my turn, as they have had theirs."
- Matthew Arnold In a letter to his mother, 1869
"There's nothing else in the way of my European existence, I think. That part of it which is left, out here, reads Ben Jonson. Kindly turn up his "New Inn" (which is sheer Meredith) and read Lovel's Song in Act IV. The second verse will dispel the impression of the first, that it is by Robert Browning. The whole thing is pure beauty. "
- Rupert Brooke In a letter to Edward Marsh, on life in the South Seas
"The ideal Browning student needs , besides sympathy , to be thoroughly at home with music, art, seven or eight languages and literatures, to know the Bible and the plays of Euripides and Aristophanes (and Victorian scholarship on them) by heart, to be intimately familiar, for a start , with Keats and Shelly and Donne and Milton and Homer and Anacreon and Alciphron and Herodotus and Thucydides and Horace and Shakespeare and Wanley and Quarles and The Illustrated London News and Johnson's Dictionary and the fifty-odd, very odd-volumes of the Biographie Universelle. . He needs to possess outstanding knowledge of Italian topography and art and the more obscure recesses of Italian history, and to have read all those strange books which, one comes to believe, have had in their long history one reader, Robert Browning. It would be helpful to have a photographic memory, to have lived an eon or two with faculties unimpaired, and to assess the kind of diligence that would have brought sweat into the brow of Browning's grammarian..."
- Dr.John Pettigrew's introduction to Robert Browning , The Poems