Alfred Lord Tennyson, Bishop Blougram’s Apology, Elizabeth Barrett, Men and Women, My Last Duchess, New Lankan Review, poems, Poetry, Richard de Zoysa, Robert Browning, Sonali Deraniyagala, The New Lankan Review, The Ring and the Book, Yasmine Gooneratne
Browning was long twinned with Tennyson as the other great Victorian poet, which is understandable given both his range and his talent. His popularity was also perhaps assisted by his marriage to Elizabeth Barrett, which was in itself a romance with public appeal, while the fact that she was a distinguished poet herself added to his prestige. The very different romantic appeal of Tennyson marrying the sister of his adored best friend was not in those days the stuff of which romance was made.
Yet there can be no question at all about him being in Tennyson’s league, and even in Victorian times he was much less accessible. His great epic, The Ring and the Book, was not widely read then, and is almost unreadable now. Its elaborate plot, and the subtle characterization, based on an old Italian tale of intrigue, has little resonance in the modern world.