iUniverse, Apr 18, 2011 - 644 pages
The Italy that famous poets such as Robert Browning and his wife Elizabeth Barrett Browning loved so dearly, was not by any means merely that sculptured and ornate sepulcher that so many of those cultivated English men and women who lived there and enjoyed and admired and despised it in the 19th century thought it to be. To the Brownings Italy was a wonderful living organicism: the center of the religion and politics of a continent; the ancient and flaming heart of Western history. It was Europe in its consummate form, and they lived there at the time of the most moving and gigantic of all dramas - the making of a new nation - one of the events that gives the sense that earth is yet in the genesis of creation. Before their eyes, with every circumstance of energy and mystery, was passing the panorama of the unification of Italy, with the daring, heroic and romantic militarism of Garibaldi, and the bold, diplomatic genius of Cavour. It was a time when affairs of State were works of art, and the theaters of war on land and sea were filled with the excitement, drama and pathos in which poets triumph.