Robert Browning wrote some of the most powerful and original poetry of the Victorian period, but he remains a difficult and controversial figure. This study aims to clarify and reassess Browning's poetry, exploring his major ideas, themes and poetic forms and placing his work within the cultural and political milieu in which he worked. The study is organised as a sequence of thematic chapters, which trace the development of Browning's life and work including his attitude to love and marriage and his political and philosophical ideas. The authors refer to the full range of Browning's work, but centre discussion on a core group of poems which can thus be seen from a variety of perspectives. A detailed chronology situates Browning's career within its wider historical and cultural framework. Written by two acknowledged experts on Browning, this study contributes a considerable body of new research to the ongoing critical debate. The authors adopt different but non conflicting approaches and the result is a study which fully explores the complexities of Browning's challenging and rewarding work.