Robert Browning Essay - Robert Browning Poetry: British Analysis

Robert Browning Poetry: British Analysis

Boyd Litzinger in Time’s Revenges: Browning’s Reputation as a Thinker, 1889-1962 (1964) reviews the critical reception of Robert Browning’s work during the decade after his death and finds that his immense popularity was based on three chief beliefs among his readers: Browning was a defender of Christianity, although his specific beliefs were subject to considerable doubt; he was admired for an optimistic worldview and his works were thought to urge humanity to higher and higher efforts to improve its condition; and he was considered to be a serious philosopher and man of ideas.

This analysis seems seriously misguided. Browning’s religious teachings are contradictory at best. His frequent comic and...

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