BROWNING SOCIETIES formed in the late 19th century to perpetuate the honor and disseminate the poetic works of Robert Browning. Browning was still alive, though in his later years, when the first Societies were formed, and was not consulted on the foundation of these groups. The idea did not meet with his immediate approval.
THE EARLIEST WAS FORMED in the United States, in 1877, at Cornell University, founded by Hiram Corson. In 1885, a society formed in Boston, which became the largest over time. By 1900, several hundreds of such groups met regularly in the United States, Canada, and Britain.
THE MOST NOTABLE of the Browning Societies was that formed by Frederick James Furnivall and Emily Hickey in 1881 in London. It met at University College and took as a primary aim to publish aids for the enjoyment and study of Browning's work. They also encouraged amateur productions of his plays.
THE SAN FRANCISCO BROWNING SOCIETY was formed in 1902 by a group of women seeking intellectual stimulation and an artistic sisterhood.
The Browning Society, London
Membership is open to all. The Society's activities centre on London and the Home Counties, but members who live elsewhere in Britan and overseas are kept in touch through the journal and regular interchanges of news and information. In addition to activities and events in England, the Browning Society supports the efforts of the Friends of Casa Guidi to restore and maintain the Browning's home in Florence, Italy. President is Dr. Scott Lewis.