The item for sale is the autograph of the 19th Century English Poet – Robert Browning, dated London, June 16, 1864 in brown ink.
Along with this is an antique watercolored engraving of a portrait of Robert Browning by August Weger (German: 1823–1892). The engraving is remarkable in its detail and measures 3 ¾" x 3 ¼" while the overall frame size is 10 ¼" x 7 ¾". The piece is very good condition.
Browning was born in Camberwell, a suburb of London, England, the first son of Robert and Sarah Anna Browning. His father was a well-paid clerk for the Bank of England. Browning's paternal grandfather was a wealthy slave owner in St Kitts, West Indies, but Browning's father was an abolitionist. Browning's father had been sent to the West Indies to work on a sugar plantation. Revolted by the slavery there, he returned to England. Browning's mother was a musician. He had one sister, Sarianna. It is rumoured that Browning's grandmother, Margaret Tittle, was a Jamaican-born mulatto who had inherited a plantation in St Kitts. Robert's father amassed a library of around 6,000 books, many of them rare. His mother, to whom he was very close, was a devout nonconformist as well as a talented musician. His younger sister, Sarianna, also gifted, became her brother's companion in his later years. His father encouraged his interest in literature and the arts. By twelve, Browning had written a book of poetry which he later destroyed when no publisher could be found. After attending several private schools, he began to be educated by a tutor, having demonstrated a strong dislike for institutionalized education. Browning was a good student, and by the age of fourteen he was fluent in French, Greek, Italian and Latin. He became a great admirer of the Romantic poets, especially Shelley. Following the precedent of Shelley, Browning became an atheist and vegetarian, both of which later he gave up. At the age of sixteen, he attended University College London but left after his first year. His mother's staunch evangelical faith prevented his studying at either Oxford University or Cambridge University, both then open only to members of the Church of England. He had substantial musical ability and composed arrangements of various songs.
In 1845, Browning met Elizabeth Barrett, who lived as a semi-invalid in her father's house in Wimpole Street. Gradually a significant romance developed between them, leading to their secret marriage and flight on September 12, 1846. The marriage was initially secret because Elizabeth's father disapproved of marriage for any of his children. From the time of their marriage, the Brownings lived in Italy. He died at his son's home in Italy on 12 December 1889. Ref: Wikipedia
Item ID: 593
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