Robert Browning: Selected Works

This audio poetry collection was much more successful than the Byron collection I last reviewed. After a short biography of Browning, it launched straight into the poems without further editorializing. I was surprised to recognize a few phrases here are there (the lark's on the wing) but most of the verse was unfamiliar. Frederick Davidson does a fantastic job as reader. I especially enjoyed his performance of the last piece, 'Mr. Sludge, "The Medium"'.

I also very much appreciated 'Beatrice Signorini' and 'Fra Lippo Lippi', which draw on his life in Italy. Browning and his wife lived in Florence for many years. I have a faint memory of visiting their house (now a museum) with my mother while we lived there. It was a modest building (by the standards of Florentine palaces) with a lovely garden in front.

The only thing that could have enhanced my experience would have been additional information about the poetry, about his life, about his wife's poetry as well. I will probably seek out some of this information independantly.


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