[Venice—Friday, 19 October 1888]
Lunched with us (at Po Barbaro) the Countess Pisani & Mr & Miss Browning– By request of the Pisani who wished to know Mr Browning.
He said in 1827 when Shelley was little known, he R.B. was a boy of 10 or 11 & readg something by Shelley, conceived a great admiration for him & was bent on getting his pubd work– Had to write to a publisher to ask where the poetry of a Mr Shelley cd be procured? His mother went with him to Covt Garden & bought them all—includg ‘Adonais’ (wh. now brings £50).
<Mr B & the P. did not take to each other. He said afterwards that lady could be malignant!>
Found at little book shop next Post Office in Venice, some 150 copies of Bodoni’s printg at Parma. Tacitus, Catullus, Tibullus, Gray, Thompson. Browning admired them– But said he never bought any books. And I heard him say once, that his collection were nearly all presentation copies! I saw them when he removed to Kensington.
1. Passage in angle brackets added later.