The bitter and twisted monk of "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister" is Browning's best-known hater, but hatred was a topic to which he returned again and again in both letters and poems. Daniel Karlin has written a study of Browning's hatreds, and their influence on his poetry. Browning was himself a "good hater", and Karlin analyzes his hatreds of figures such as Wordsworth (the model for his "Lost Leader"), and more generally, tyranny and the abuse of power, and deceit or quackery in personal relationships or intellectual systems. Tracing the subtlest windings and branchings of Browning's idea of hatred through detailed discussion of key poems, the author shows how Browning's work displays an unequalled grasp of hatred as a personal emotion, as an intellectual principle and as a source of artistic creativity. Particular attention is devoted to Browning's compulsive and compelling exploration of the duality of love and hate. Daniel Karlin is the author of "The Courtship of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett", and the editor of "Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett: A Courtship Correspondence. A Selection", and (with John Woolford) "The Poems of Browning".
'Karlin emerges as a mature and significant scholar. His scholarship is wide-ranging ... The greatest benefit Karling confers is his habit of close reading, indeed close hearing, of both prose and poetry. This sensitivity is most valuable when it leads Karlin to shake off traditional readings which are limited or patently wrong. This provides a valuable freshness in the experience of Browning's poetry, and develops a habit of mind in the reader.'
Arthur Kincaid. Eesti Humanitaar Instiuut, Tallinn. Notes and Queries Vol 41. No 3 Sept '94
`Dr Karlin's book is constantly readable.'
English Studies Vol 75 no 6
`wide-ranging and informative study of Browning and hatred. ... Karlin employs his detailed scholarly knowledge to select and juxtapose dispersed passages that prove that the poet was consistently absorbed by styles of antithetical thought across the span of an immensely long career.'
Victorian Studies, Autumn 1995