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A Blot In The 'Scutcheon
Robert Browning

Page 1 of 105


A BLOT IN THE 'SCUTCHEON 

by ROBERT BROWNING 

INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

ROBERT BROWNING stands, in respect to his origin and his career,
in marked contrast to the two aristocratic poets beside whose dramas
his "Blot in the 'Scutcheon" is here printed.  His father was a bank
clerk and a dissenter at a time when dissent meant exclusion
from Society; the poet went neither to one of the great public schools
nor to Oxford or Cambridge; and no breath of scandal touched his name.
Born in London in 1812, he was educated largely by private tutors,
and spent two years at London University, but the influence of his
father, a man of wide reading and cultivated tastes, was probably
the most important element in his early training.  He drew well,
was something of a musician, and wrote verses from an early age,
though it was the accidental reading of a volume of Shelley
which first kindled his real inspiration.  This indebtedness

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