This book, the fruit of thorough and patient archival digging, brings together various fragmentary local sources and quaint memorabilia, hitherto unknown to scholars. It vividly recovers the spirit of the fascination with Browningmania, and more broadly Victoriana, that Rochesterians and Americans in general evinced in the last two decades of the nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth century.Browning's popularity, undeserved many thought, remains nonetheless a unique phenomenon in literary and cultural history, well worthy of study and comprehension. Although several books and articles were devoted to this subject, none offers a sustained explanation of how and why Browning became such an iconic figure. This book fills a gap in the scholarship and critical reception of Browning.
This study offers Browning scholars and Victorianists in general a new perspective on some long-neglected but crucial material. It will be of particular interest to students and scholars in Reception and American studies as well as cultural and literary historians. Because it brings together many local anecdotes and memorabilia, this book will also find appreciative readers among the general public, especially in upstate New York region, particularly Rochester.