STEFAN HAWLIN The blank interstices Men take for ruins, He will build into With pillared marbles rare, or knit across With generous arches, till the fane's complete. Casa Guidi Windows, II.776-7791 he roots of the implicit politics of Men and Women (1855) lie in the era of the European revolutions and their aftermath. Although few of the poems were probably written at this time, Browning's responses to the events of 1848 to 1852 inspired much of the collection on which he started serious work in 1853. In these years, witnessing the Florentine revolution of February 1849, and then in Paris, in December 1851, Louis Napoleon's coup d'état (in effect one of the concluding events of the revolutionary phase), Browning experienced politics at first-hand with his wife, drawn into ongoing dialogue with her, their views developing in synergy, and disagreements consequently being painful. Politics was at the heart of their relationship. However, the nuances of Browning's politics in this period often seem tantalizingly obscure or hidden from view, for two main reasons. Firstly, there is only a limited amount of direct or open politics in the poetry, and, of course, Browning rarely writes in propria persona.2 Secondly, in this
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Jan 19, 2012
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