Robert Browning - Paracelsus & Sordello - First Editions [1835 & 1840] - $800

BROWNING, Robert. Paracelsus and Sordello. First Editions bound as one volume.

London: Effingham Wilson, 1835 and Edward Moxon, 1840. First Editions. Octavo (6.75" x 4.5"); [xii], 216p; [iv], 253p +1 ads. Three quarter brown leather over brown cloth with gilt lettering to spine. Oxford Cambridge University Club Library bookplate on front pastedown with club stamp occasionally throughout, but with no other library markings or additions. Front board very lightly curved with bumping to corners and spine ends, scuffing down joints, and some general light smudging. Covers open easily with an obvious thin gap at center where the volumes were joined, but binding is still tight and sound. Pages a bit toned along edges but unmarked. [Pearsall A4 and A14]

The author's second and third collections of poetry, but the first to bear his name. Browning suppressed his first collection--the anonymously-published Pauline: A Confession, which sold no copies and which John Stuart Mill wrote revealed an author "possessed with a more intense and morbid self-consciousness than I ever knew in any sane human being"--until being discovered as its author by Dante Gabriel Rosetti and eventually reluctantly including it in his 1868 Poetical Works. Unlike Pauline's personal reflection, and likely due to criticism such as Mills's, Paracelsus and Sordello (and the play Stafford published between them in 1837) marked a shift from the personal and sentimental to a narrative dramatic style that he would come to master in his famous dramatic monologues. This copy bearing the bookplate and occasional stamps of the Oxford Cambridge University Club Library, a London club for Oxford and Cambridge alumni and official affiliates.

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