(1812 - 1889)
Robert Browning published his first work, Pauline: A Fragment of a Confession, in 1833; John Stuart Mill attacked it for the “intense and morbid self-consciousness” it revealed the poet to have. Critical and popular favor continued to elude him for years after he published in 1840 a 5,800-line poem about a thirteenth-century Italian troubadour that was regarded as “notorious for its obscurity.” In 1868 and 1869 he published his best-known work, The Ring and the Book, premised on a Roman murder trial in 1698. Browning died in Venice in 1889 and was buried at Westminster Abbey. On the day of his death, he heard news of the excellent reviews his most recent collection had received, and that it was almost sold out.