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from the norton critical edition of browning s poetry
From the Norton Critical Edition of Browning’s poetry.

First published with the contrasting poem, “Count Gismond,” under the caption “Italy and France.” The duke closely resembles Alfonso II, fifth and last duke of Ferrara (1533-97), and last of the main branch of the powerful Este family, whose history Browning had studied… In 1558, Alfonso married Lucrezia, fourteen-year-old daughter of Cosimo I de’ Medici, duke of Florence; in 1561 she died under mysterious circumstances. Several years later, the duke married the daughter of Ferdinand I, the count of Tyrol.

The historical “clues” are in the poem, but Browning is not being didactic. What is the effect, then, of implying rather than explicitly stating the historical context?