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The Robert Browning volume in the 21st-Century Oxford Authors series is the first one-volume fully annotated edition of Browning to offer a wide selection of work written throughout Browning's career, from the very first poem he published, Pauline, to Asolando, the volume that was published on the day that he died. The text chosen is, wherever possible, the text of the poem as it was first published by Browning himself, and as a consequence the volume also constitutes a kind of biography. It reveals a poet who began as a bold experimentalist, and who continued to experiment throughout a writing career of more than fifty years. Browning is best known for his dramatic monologues, and the dramatic monologues are fully represented in this volume, but he was also a narrative poet, a poet of philosophical reflection, and a poet who fashioned an extraordinary variety of lyric measures. This volume reveals Browning as a far more versatile poet than he is often taken to be. There are two important prose items, an essay on Shelley and a letter to Ruskin which clarify Browning's intellectual stance. The Notes include brief headnotes to each poem followed by detailed annotation. Browning is often a difficult poet, and the notes are designed to assist the reader to arrive at a full understanding of the poems. The volume also includes a general introduction and a detailed chronology of Browning's life and times.
About the Author
Richard Cronin has published very widely on nineteenth-century literature. After teaching for many years at the University of Glasgow, he has recently been appointed to a chair at Oxford Brookes University. Dorothy McMillan is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Glasgow, and has published widely with a particular focus on Scottish literature and poetry by women.