Men and Women

Photogravure of BrowningOn November 17, 1855, publication of Robert Browning’s Men and Women, a two-volume publication of Robert Browning’s major poetic works. Image: Photogravure of Robert Browning by Juliet Margaret Cameron (1865, printed c. 1893). Original is at the Art Institute of Chicago. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Robert Browning’s Men and Women was a major literary event in nineteenth-century Britain in its shift of emphasis from the private, atemporal and generally non-social genre of Romantic lyricism to the ironies and enigmas of human awareness and social relationships, to dramatic action in human speech. His men and women are presented overtly as speech acts, grounded in psychological and cultural origins, and in the ambiguities of linguistic processes. Readers often found Browning’s mode of writing obscure, but its methods and implications consistently engage with other domains of Victorian thought, in religion, biology, and psychiatry. While the status of this publication was not widely understood at the time, its value is manifest in its reception history, in the discussion and representations that constitute its ongoing existence as a historical event.


E. Warwick Slinn, "On Robert Browning’s Men and Women"

Associated Place(s)