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‘Ring of Gold’ 13/02/2011

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c. 1905

To the men and women of the Anglo-Saxon race Florence is rich in reminiscences, for so many English and American men of art and letters have made it their second home. At San Domenico there stands the fine villa in which Walter Savage Landor wrote and died. The great Medici villa at Careggi will remind them not only of Lorenzo the Magnificent, but also of G. F. Watts and the brilliant band that surrounded him in his youthful days when he worked in Florence. The heights of Bellosguardo speak of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and a prosaic house in the town was once the home of Anthony Trollope, while in some one of these streets, down which the people pass with hurrying feet, Charles Lever wrote his cheery tales. But of all the famous men and women who of late years knew and loved Florence, there are two whose names will be for ever linked with hers – Robert and Elizabeth Browning, whose home was the Casa Guidi, from the windows of which Mrs. Browning watched the stir and stress of the early days of Italian liberty. Above the dark doorway, through which her slight form must so often have flitted, the passer-by may read the graceful tribute that the Italian poet, Tommaseo, has offered to the genius of his English sister. ‘QUI SCRISSE E MORI E. B. BROWNING Che . . . fece del suo verso aureo anello fra Italia e Inghilterra.’ Thy rare gold ring of verse (the Poet praised), Linking our England to his Italy.

 

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