Browning’s Conversation in 1872: port, a pun and financial matters

  • Cornelia Crosse


In 1872 I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Browning again … Mr Browning was very intimate at the house where we were dining, and I noticed that one of the servants placed a decanter of port wine near him, offering him no other during dinner. On [my] expressing my surprise at his drinking port, having been so long in Italy, he replied ‘It is because I have been so long in Italy that I am tired of their sour wines.’ In the course of conversation I mentioned that an accident had happened to our gas meter, and that when I left my house the place was in darkness. ‘I should not be surprised if the same thing occurred to me,’ said Mr Browning, ‘for my critics tell me there is something very wrong with my metre.’ The reviews of The Ring and the Book’ were then appearing.

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornelia Crosse

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