Robert Browning Recites His Poem (1889 Edison Cylinder)


This is one of the most important historic recording from 19th century. This recording contains the voice of great English poet, Robert Browning (1812 – 1889). Although the recording is very inaudible, it is still worth to hear one of the greatest poet of Victorian era.

It was recorded in a dinner party given by Browning’s friend the artist Rudolf Lehmann, on May 6th, 1889.

Colonel Gouraud, the sales manager of Edison Talking machine, had brought with him a phonograph and each of the guests was invited to speak into it. Initially reluctant, Browning eventually relents and can be heard reciting from his poem ‘How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix’. Unfortunately, he forgets the words after a few lines, tries again and then gives up, but can be heard expressing his astonishment at this “wonderful invention”.

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