Robert Browning (Life's summary)
Robert Browning was born in London in 1812, son of a bank official. He led a rather uneventful life, apart from his romantic marriage with Elizabeth Barrett. He grew up in cultured surroundings and was educated privately under the supervision of his father, whose library he explored consequently building up a wide range of learning. After studying some Greek at University College of London, he visited Italy in 1838 and fell in love with it, spending nearly all his youth there. He met Elizabeth Barrett, then a better known poetess than he was, in 1845. She was an invalid, suffering from the consequence of a horse-riding accident, and was living as a recluse under a possessive and tyrannical father. They secretly married in 1846 and settled in Italy, choosing Florence as residence. Italy's climate and the happy marriage (blessed by a son) restored Elizabeth's health completely and inspired his best poetry. Her death in 1861 was a shock from which Browning never completely recovered. He lived mostly in London after 1861; only then he did his reputation eclipse his wife's. He died in Venice (1889) and was buried in Westminster Abbey.