In seventeen volumes, copublished with Baylor University, this acclaimed series features annotated texts of all of Robert Browning’s known writing. The series encompasses autobiography as well as influences bearing on Browning’s life and career and aspects of Victorian thought and culture.
Volume II contains Browning’s play, Strafford: An Historical Tragedy (1837), and the long poem, Sordello (1840). Strafford was Browning’s first play, based on the tragic life of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. The editors note that the play had only four performances, “undoubtedly due… to its esoteric subject and bad acting.” Sordello is a fictionalized version of the life of Sordello da Goito, a 13th century Italian troubadour. The poem itself was famously known for being “difficult.”
As always in this acclaimed series, a complete record of textual variants is provided, as well as extensive explanatory notes.