Asolando, Robert Browning's final volume of poetry, was, when first published in 1889 - on the day of his death, deemed as charming by reviewers. Richard Kennedy asserts that Asolando was a fitting cap to this great poet's career. In this text, Kennedy fuses biography and critical commentary to provide a account of this poet's last years and his last volume of poems. Kennedy describes how Browning experienced a creative resurgence during the final years of his life, a period influenced by his association with the Amerian widow Katharine Bronson. After an introductory overview of those productive years, Kennedy provides critical commentary - sometimes analytical, and often judgmental - on each of the poems, indicating how they are representative of Browning's ideas and practices. Chapters are devoted to Browning's personal poems, his love poems, and those on religion, philosophy, and art. A selection of the poems from this text is reprinted in the appendix, and photographs, sketches, and reproductions of artworks complement the text throughout, offering insight into the last years of this poet's life. This book is aimed at readers who love poetry as well as at experts in Romantic and Victorian literature.
Richard S. Kennedy is Professor Emeritus of English at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is author or editor of many books, including the multivolume Notebooks of Thomas Wolfe.