Browning’s Masterpiece, Inscribed

The Ring and the Book.

London: Smith, Elder and Co, 1872.

Price: $7,500.00

About the item

Second edition. 4 vols. Small 8vo. Browning’s Masterpiece, Inscribed. Full olive morocco gilt, a.e.g., by Bedford. Front joint of vol. I repaired, else fine. In custom cloth slipcase. Bookplate of William Harris Arnold. Barnes RB 19; Sterling 89; Tinker 425; Wise, Browning pp. 27-28; Ashley I, 120-121.

Item #300889

Inscribed by Browning to Ernest Benzon on the first flyleaf, “Ernst Benzon Esq, from his very affectionately Robert Browning." German-born Ernst Benzon, a partner in the steel manufacture Vickers Sons & Company, was a patron or friend of Browning and others, including Thackeray, Wilkie Collins, Felix Mendelssohn and George Eliot. Browning stayed with the Benzons in Little Milton, their Scottish estate in the hills above Loch Tummel, and it is there in 1869 that he wrote the long poem Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau. The present volumes were likely presented by Browning in appreciation. Mrs. Benzon later gave Browning a gift of £1,860 worth of railway stock.