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Profile of the Day: Robert Browning

On this day in 1812, English poet and playwright Robert Browning was born in London, England. A prolific poet, Browning was known as one of the leading Victorian writers of his era.

Profile of the Day: Robert Browning

Robert Browning / Library of Congress

Browning was the only son born to Sarah Ann Widermann and Robert Browning, who worked as a clerk for the Bank of England. His paternal grandfather was a slave owner in the West Indies, but Browning’s father opposed slavery, thus forgoing the family’s fortune. His father was able to make a decent living as a clerk and eventually amassed a personal library of over 6,000 books.

Growing up surrounded by literature, Browning began writing at a young age. Browning published his first works in 1833 and became known for his mastery of the dramatic monologue. In 1845, he met poet Elizabeth Barrett and the couple quickly fell in love, beginning one of the most famous courtships in literature. Browning had been an admirer of her work for some time. However, Barrett’s father did not approve of Browning, so the couple kept their relationship a secret. They exchanged hundreds of love letters, and by 1846, they eloped and fled to Italy. The couple remained married until Barrett’s death in 1861.

Browning died on December 12, 1889 at the age of 77 and was buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

Explore Robert Browning’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re related to the English poet!

View Robert Browning’s Geni Profile


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