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Selected Poems Paperback – 31 Aug 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (31 Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140437266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140437263
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Robert Browning (1812-1889) attended the newly founded University of London for a year before travelling widely on the Continent in the 1830s and 1840s. After a clandestine courtship, he married Elizabeth Barrett in 1846 and they lived in Italy until her death in 1861. He is one of the most significant and inventive of Victorian poets.


Daniel Karlin is Professor of English at University College, London. He has edited The Penguin Book of Victorian verse.


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Format: Paperback
Along with Tennyson, Rosetti and Clough, Robert Browning ranks as one of the great poets of the Victorian age; although many argue that his wife, Elizabeth Barrett, wrote the better work. Browning's poetry ranges from the obscure (and early) epic poems of Sordello to the mature dramatic monologue's of 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover', poetry that is much more distinguished, stylish and confident.

Generally speaking, Penguin have succeeded in compiling Browning's output into a 'Selected' volume that is representative of his accalimed mature work, whilst providing an aperture into the more densely allusive work, by including difficult poems like 'Caliban upon Setebos'. From reading this volume a reader should be able to make an informed decision as to whether they want to dig deeper into Browning's oeuvre.

In a 'Selected' there will always be one or two omissions that are a bit of disappointment ('Rabbi Ben Ezra' is not included), but generally the selections here make good sense. There's also an excerpt from 'Pippa Passes' which provides a glimpse of Browning work as a playwright.

The book features a brief introduction from Daniel Karlin and in-depth notes on each of the poems, making the book particularly geared towards students. The emphasis is very much on providing the reader with a grounding in Browning's work and an extra layer of depth on top of that, so readers should be able to develop their knowledge of one of the most important poets of the nineteenth century.
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Format: Audio Download
I don't know why Amazon amalgamates reviews of different anthologies -- not merely different "formats" of the same "book" -- and places them, in this instance, on the product page advertising Greg Wagland's (Magpie Audio) audiobook. Their computer works in mysterious ways, I guess. My review describes the audiobook:

"BURYING THE BISHOP (AND DISINTERRING ROBERT BROWNING'S SHORTER POEMS): GREG WAGLAND HITS THE MARK!"

Born (as was Charles Dickens) in 1812; died (as did Gerard Manley Hopkins) in 1889, Robert Browning (part Romantic, part Victorian, and certainly part Modern) remains one of the most influential yet controversial literary giants of the 19th Century. Controversial? Henry James called him "a poet without a lyre." Oscar Wilde acknowledged that Browning had a lyre but that its strings were broken, famously remarking, "He used poetry as a medium for writing in prose." Yet both men admired him as a consummate creator of character, even rivaling Shakespeare. These evaluations notwithstanding, those of us who vaguely remember Browning from high school as the quintessential composer of blank-verse dramatic monologues, will perhaps be surprised and delighted at the range of rhythmic -- and rhyming -- patterns the poems in this collection show. Indeed, in a market fairly saturated with wonderful Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning offerings, it was savvy of acclaimed actor Greg Wagland to concentrate here on shorter, lyrical poems that I, as a casual Browning fan, was unfamiliar with.

But how, with the aforementioned embarrassment of riches, does one choose one Robert Browning audiobook? If, as publisher-critic Michael Schmidt has written, "we read [poetry] with our ears," I would rephrase this by saying that if we're lucky, we also hear it with our eyes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good for my uni studies
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