The Life of Robert Browning: A Critical Biography
April 1996, Wiley-Blackwell
1. Growing up in Camberwell.
2. Into the World.
3. Taking Stock: Sordello.
4. Bells and Pomegranates.
5. Courtship and the Early Years of Marriage.
6. At Home and Abroad, 1850-54.
7. Men and Women.
8. The Last Years Together.
9. In London Again.
10. The Ring and the Book.
11. Memory and Desire.
12. Redefining Poetry.
13. Fame is the Spur.
14. An Idyllic Interlude.
15. Looking Backwards and Forwards:The Parleyings.
16. Death in Venice and Burial in London.
* Questions the idea that Browning was an objective, dramatic poet, whose works are distinct and separate from himself.
* Relates Browning the poet to Browning the man.
"Only a handful of scholars could have written this book, and it is surely now the best introduction to the entirely of Browning's career... Ryals's mastery of his subject is... unrivalled... to be recommended as the best first book to read on Browning." Choice
"This biography, more successfully than any that has preceded it, achieves a fine balance between its sensitive commentary on the poet's life and the poet's art, and it further illuminates these subjects by locating them in a rich and wide-ranging cultural and historical context."Nineteenth-Century Literature.
"... a thoroughly admirable contribution - an introduction for the general reader, at a modest price, of the corpus fo Browning, described and summarized and commented upon in such a way as to provoke reading of the texts to verify the riches the critic announces he has found" John Stasny, Victorian Poetry.
"Clyde de L. Ryals has published two distinguished studies of Browning's works, and his knowledge of the field is second to none. ... Eminently readable, Ryal's study covers a huge amount of ground, offeringclear and reliable summaries of the poet's works and days. This kind of book is obviously much more useful to the current generation of students than the earlier handbooks compiled by Alexandra Orr and William." Victorian Studies