Browning and Wordsworth


"William Wordsworth's poetry was far more influential upon that of Robert Browning than has hitherto been supposed. Browning read Wordsworth intensively from a very early age, and became a devoted admirer of much of his work. In particular, Wordsworth's aesthetic beliefs about the poet's role in the world were as important to Browning's own conception of this role as those of Shelley, whose relationship with Browning has been far more extensively discussed. This book principally uses Harold Bloom's "influence theory" to examine this relationship, which can usefully be seen as a "struggle" on Browning's part to "throw off" the "burden of influence" imposed upon him by his Romantic predecessor; it also puts forward more historical and biographical explanations for some of the relationship's complexities, including Browning's awareness of Wordsworth's rising critical reputation in the late Victorian period and the responsibilities imposed upon him in his later career by his own social position as a "literary lion."" "This book will be of interest to students of English literature - particularly those working on Bloomian influence theory, Wordsworth, or Browning - as well as to more senior scholars working on poetry of the Romantic and Victorian periods. The work will also interest those working on the deeply ambiguous figure of the later Browning - simultaneously the most popular poet in the country after Tennyson and one of the most uncompromisingly complex - and his vexed relationship with the reading public." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Madison, NJ
Publication year:
  • 2004


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