The Ring and the Book, Browning's 21,000 line epic, is widely regarded as his masterpiece. This is the third, and final, volume of the Oxford edition covering this work, comprising the monologue of Johannes-Baptista Bottinius, and then the glowing conclusion to the work as a whole: the monologues of Pope Innocent XII and of Guido in his prison-cell prior to execution, and then the witty, ironic envoi of Book XII. The commentary in this edition contains a
wealth of new contextual material that illuminates Browning's work in sometimes surprising ways. The copy text of 1888-9, the final edition of Browning's lifetime, has been scrupulously examined, both in relation
to compositors' errors, and Browning's own final corrections to the text: eighty-nine emendations to accidentals, and nineteen emendations to substantives, produce a text as near as possible to Browning's final intentions. Appendix A presents previously unknown source material, concerning the 'cadaver synod' of 897, from Browning's father's historical notebooks. The Afterword gives a fresh view of the real history of the Franceschini murder case, based on new research in the archives in
`Review from previous edition 'The Browning [edition] remains a magnificent achievement that is still unfolding before our eyes''
A. N. Wilson, 'World of Books', Daily Telegraph, July 2001
`An extraordinary work, both in its meticulous textual scholarship and in the detail of its attention to Browning's own exceptionally detailed imagining of the past'
`'This edition, without ever being guilty of nanny-editing, guides the reader gently but firmly, and contains the scholarly apparatus necessary for a full appreciation of Browning's achievement. The editors, and the general editor, deserve our gratitude.''
J R Watson, ROES, Vol 50, no 200, 1999
Textual Notes to Books IX-XII
References and Abbreviations
The Ring and the Book, Books IX-XII
Introduction to Book IX
Book IX: Juris Doctor Johannes-Baptista Bottinius
Introduction to Book X
Book X: The Pope
Introduction to Book XI
Book XI: Guido
Introduction to Book XII
Book XII: The Book and the Ring
Appendix A: The Cadaver Synod
Appendix B: Yale Variants
Appendix C: Compositors
Michael Meredith and Simonetta Berbeglia: Afterword: The Truth Behind the Franceschini Murder Case