Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 3, 1845

Browning is on the verge of publishing his latest volume: Dramatic Romances and Lyrics and his publisher, Moxon sent the proof sheets to Eliot Warburton in hopes that he would publish a review in The English Review. Browning responds to a congratulating letter from Warburton:

"Hatcham, Surrey.

Nov. 3. Night.

You meant to give me great pleasure, my dear Warburton, by this note brimming over with kindness .. and you have given me the very greatest pleasure, and made me proud & grateful, you must needs feel. It was a happy inspiration of Moxon to send you the proof-sheets, and I quite forgive him forestalling me in, perhaps, the main gratification of an author—for that is a white minute when one’s book only exists for oneself and a friend. Thank you heartily .. all I can say, and too little: I hope to do more & better—but at no period of any possible career do I wish for truer reward than the sympathy and assistance such a warm-hearted letter makes my own. I will send a clean copy in a day or two, when I can get one. We meet often, I hope, in London next Spring or earlier .. meantime I have your Book which I never take up without renewed delight.

Ever yours most faithfully,

Robt Browning."
Warburton's book was The Crescent and the Cross, also published in 1845 which was an account of his travels in the east. It was huge successful, going into 17 editions. The same could not be said for Dramatic Romances and Lyrics. But this is the difference between poetry and prose, the fog and the cloudless sky.

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