R is for Robert BrowningRobert Browning was one of the most famed of the Victorian poets, and his The Pied Piper of Hamelin with its flowing rhythmic patterns has been a children’s favourite ever since it was first published. As a pale and somewhat mysterious faced youth crowned with a flowing black mane, Browning sat under the ministry of George Clayton at Walworth’s York Street Chapel. It was also the church where he had been baptised as an infant. Such was his influence that the chapel was later renamed the Browning Settlement Hall – where the ‘old age pensions act’ was originated, the street became Browning Street and the local school Robert Browning School.
Whilst attending a dinner party in 1889, just seven months before his death, the aged poet, found himself sampled by some new technology. One of the party-goers had brought along a device that was able to make a short audio recording onto a cylinder which could then be played back for all to hear. When it came to Browning’s turn he decided to recite from his poem, ‘How They Brought the Good News from
Robert Browning reciting his own poem in 1889