JOHN WOOLFORD to the countess cowper If I mention the simple truth: that this poem absolutely owes its existence to you,--who not only suggested, but imposed on me as a task, what has proved the most delightful of May-month amusements--I shall seem honest, indeed, but hardly prudent; for, how good and beautiful ought such a poem to be! Euripides might fear little; but I, also, have an interest in the performance: and what wonder if I beg you to suffer that it make, in another and far easier sense, its nearest possible approach to those Greek qualities of goodness and beauty, by laying itself gratefully at your feet? R. B. london, july 23, 18711 hat led Robert Browning to write Balaustion's Adventure? It appears in his work as a kind of bufer between two much darker long poems, The Ring and the Book (1868-69) and Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society (1871), respectively his most comprehensive venture into traditional history/ historiography and his largest and most detailed treatment of contemporary events.2 Beside these, Balaustion's Adventure can seem a bit slight, as Browning himself seems to have feared, describing it in the Preface as "the most delightful of May-month amusements,"
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Jan 19, 2012
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