The Ring and the Book, Vol. I - Robert Browning
Thos. Crowell, 1898. 6.5", 360 pgs. VG+ copy.
This book tells the story of a murder trial in Rome in 1698. An impoverished nobleman, Count Guido Franceschini, is found guilty of the murders of his young wife Pompilia and her parents, having suspected his wife was having an affair with a young cleric, Giuseppe Caponsacchi. Having been found guilty despite his protests and sentenced to death, Guido then appeals—unsuccessfully—to Pope Innocent XII to overturn the conviction. The poem comprises twelve books, ten of which are dramatic monologues spoken by different characters involved in the case (Count Guido speaks twice), usually giving a different account of the same events, and two books (the first and the last) spoken by the author. Concluded in Vol II.