BROWNING, Robert (1812-1889) -- JUVENAL. The Satyrs of Decimus Junius Juvenalis and of Aulus Persius Flaccus ... fifth edition, translated by John Dryden. London: J. Tonson, 1726.
12° (160 x 92mm). 21 engraved plates to the 22 satires, and engraved portrait of Persius (Some browning, occasional marginal tears.) Contemporary panelled calf (rebacked in the 19th century, spine worn at extremities, inner hinges split). Provenance: Robert Browning (inscription on front free endpaper, signed and dated 'Robert Browning June 4 '73,' reading: 'My father read the whole of the Dedicatory Preface aloud to me, as we took a walk together up Nunhead Hill, Surrey, when I was a boy') -- pencil scoring to the dedication, and more occasionally to the textual notes -- rough pencil notes on front pastedown and rear free endpaper in an unidentified hand -- R.W. Barrett Browning, sold in his sale, 7 May 1913, lot 798, to Quaritch for £9 -- John Gribbel (bookplate), sold in his sale, 7 May 1945, lot 56 for $47.50 (£11 17s. 6d).
ROBERT BROWNING'S COPY. Dryden's dedication to the Earl of Dorset, discussing the comparative merits of Horace, Juvenal and Persius and his aims in the translation, occupies over a hundred pages, implying a long and energetic uphill walk by father and son. The older Robert Browning (1781-1866), a clerk to the Bank of England, was athletic, artistic and, above all, literary. D.G. Rossetti described him as 'lovable beyond description ... a complete oddity.' Browning's inscription at the age of 61 gives us a fascinating picture of their boyhood relationship, a moving reminder of the role his father, and his father's library, played in inspiring his love of poetry.