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Mr. Edmund Gosse's last book, "Robert Browning's Personalia," is put forth, its author says, in answer to constant inquiry for The Century article, which forms the most of its substance. That article was publised in the December number of 1887, and Browning's death naturally renewed public interest in it. To this article, entitled "The Early Career of Robert Browning, 1812-1845," is added a very brief chapter of personal reminiscences and an epilogue. The epilogue is merely some verses from Ronsard, to which Browning was very partial, quoted here with their quaint old spelling preserved.
The retracing of Browning's career is, of course, chiefly of his litereary one, although many popular mistakes in fact are corrected, and the general atmosphere of his youthful days presented. Criticism. or rather a critical form of writing, is always Mr. Gosse's, and here as everywhere, yet everything is done con amore, and we cannot help feeling that if there were spots in the sun that has so lately set, Mr. Gosse was not the man to see them, or, at least not to let us know that he did.
[Robert Browning, Personalia, by Edmund Gosse, Houghton, Mifflin and Co.]
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