Robert Browning

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Robert Browning

Autograph Letter Signed discussing his son Pen - 1884

Autograph Letter Signed by Robert Browning to an unknown correspondent, dated March 31, 1884, proffering an invitation to see his son Pen Browning’s art and sculptures at the Montalba studio. On his personal stationery, 4.5″ x 7″ (11.5cm x 17.8cm). In full:

March 31, 1884

Dear Sir,

I have been anything but unmindful of your kind promise to honour my son’s works in sculpture and painting with a call at the studio — 11 Campden House Road Mews — but I could not obtain your addrefs (sic) till this afternoon. Unluckily there is but one day remaining, tomorrow, Tuesday-on which they can be seen, and I shall hardly hope to find you disengaged at so sudden a notice — should your visit be pofsible (sic), it will be all the more welcome.

Believe me, dear sir,
Yours very truly,
Robert Browning

In other correspondence of Browning’s we have seen dated the same day, the studio mentioned here—11 Campden House Road Mews—was owned by Miss Henrietta Skerrett Montalba, the youngest daughter of the four artist daughters of Anthony Rubens and Emeline Montalba, in whose Venetian palazzo she lived for most of her life. She herself produced a terra cotta bust of Browning that was exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1883.

ROBERT BROWNING (1812-1889) was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets. Browning’s poetry was known to the cognoscenti from fairly early on in his life, but he remained relatively obscure as a poet till his middle age. (In the middle of the century, Tennyson was much better known.) In Florence he worked on the poems that eventually comprised his two-volume Men and Women, for which he is now well known; in 1855, however, when these were published, they made little impact. It was only after his wife’s death, in 1861, when he returned to England and became part of the London literary scene, that his reputation started to take off.

ROBERT BARRETT BROWNING, known as Pen Browning, (1849-1912) was an English painter and sculptor. His career was moderately successful, but he is better known as the son and heir of the celebrated English poets, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barret Browning, of whose manuscripts and memorabilia he built up a substantial collection. He also bought and restored the Baroque palace Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice, where his father died in 1889.

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