Browning on Romanticism: 'Fra Lippo Lippi' and Leigh Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

This article examines Robert Browning's aesthetics, and argues for the influence of Leigh Hunt. It breaks away from the predominant view that the young Browning was influenced solely by Shelley. The article does not refute Shelley's presence in Browning's works, but rather complements it by suggesting that Browning owed much to other Romantics such as Hunt in his grounding of poetic principles. Browning's critical attitude toward the Romantics such as Wordsworth, Shelley, and Byron is offset by his eager engagement with Hunt's works. Browning embraces the real as opposed to the ideal, and his depiction of everyday life aligns him with Hunt's preference for the more tangible aspects of life. It also notes Browning's distance from Wordsworth, whose depiction of nature in solitude contrasts with Hunt's urban sociability. I take as an example Browning's 'Fra Lippo Lippi', which not only closely follows passages from Hunt's Letters from Pisa and Letters from Genoa, but also emulates his aesthetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalKeats-Shelley Review
Volume27
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr

Keywords

  • Idealism
  • Leigh Hunt
  • Mary Shelley
  • P. B. Shelley
  • Realism
  • Wordsworth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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