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King Victor and King Charles was the second play written by Robert Browning for the stage. He completed it in 1839 for William Macready, who had staged Strafford two years before, but Macready rejected it as unsuitable and it was never performed. It was published in 1842 as the second number of Bells and Pomegranates.

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  • King Victor and King Charles
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  • King Victor and King Charles was the second play written by Robert Browning for the stage. He completed it in 1839 for William Macready, who had staged Strafford two years before, but Macready rejected it as unsuitable and it was never performed. It was published in 1842 as the second number of Bells and Pomegranates.
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  • King Victor and King Charles
name
  • King Victor and King Charles
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  • Edward Moxon
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  • King Victor and King Charles was the second play written by Robert Browning for the stage. He completed it in 1839 for William Macready, who had staged Strafford two years before, but Macready rejected it as unsuitable and it was never performed. It was published in 1842 as the second number of Bells and Pomegranates. The subject of the play is the strange incident in 1730–32 in the Kingdom of Sardinia in which the elderly king, Victor Amadeus II, first abdicated in favour of his son Charles Emmanuel III, and then after months of ever-increasing complaints unexpectedly demanded to be restored. He was imprisoned until his death a year later. Browning's treatment is based on 18th century sources which cast Victor as deliberately deceptive, but he goes further to create a secret history in which Charles is exonerated from all charges of cruelty. The play is in four acts and has only four main characters: Victor, Charles, Charles's wife Polyxena, and the minister D'Ormea. Charles suffers from an inferiority complex. He has always been regarded as the dull son, forced into the role of heir after the death of his abler brother. The theme is the anxious and misguided loyalty of Charles to his father and his refusal to believe that he could have been deceived. Despite his disappointment, his virtuous behaviour finally leads to a reconciliation.
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  • Robert Browning
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  • United Kingdom
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  • Drama
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  • English
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  • Print
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