Romance Is in the Air at Baylor's Ultimate Valentine's Celebration

Feb. 9, 2009

by Lillyan Baker, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University's Armstrong Browning Library (ABL) will be filled with its special kind of romance during the Gala Valentine's Day celebration at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at the library's McLean Foyer of Meditation on the Baylor campus.

The celebration will include a serenade by Dave Tanner, who will be singing and playing the grand piano for the "The Stories and Songs of Valentine's Day" performance. Afternoon tea and gourmet desserts will be served while Tanner presents the history of this lovers' holiday along with narration about the deep love Victorian poets, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning had for each other.

In addition, Heather Martin will recite sonnets written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, including the famous love poem "How Do I Love Thee?", written for her husband.

"We wanted to provide an entertaining afternoon in the beautiful meditation room to celebrate everyone who has helped us throughout the year," said Rita S. Patteson, interim director of ABL. "It is especially romantic because of the Browning love story that is very unique and special."

The treasured handwritten manuscript of "How Do I Love Thee?" can be found at the library, which houses the world' largest collection of artifacts relating to the Browning's. Baylor's manuscript of the poem, which is contained in "Sonnets from the Portuguese," is one of only three copies in existence today. The two other copies are at the British Library and the Pierpoint Morgan Library in New York.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, died at the age of 55 in 1861, while her husband, Robert Browning, was 77 when he died in 1889. The two were married for only 15 years when Elizabeth died in Browning's arms at their home in Florence, Italy. Their union was considered to be one of the greatest literary romances ever known.

Tanner, has performed for more than 300 radio and television commercials including American Airlines, Pizza Hut, Mountain Dew and Radio Shack. Children know him as "Farmer Dooley" on the PBS television show, Barney The Dinosaur. Tanner has performed for European royalty, five Texas governors and three Presidents of the United States.

Tickets for this event are $50 for couples and $30 for individuals. Proceeds will benefit the ABL collection development.

Tickets can be purchased online or contact Christi Klempnauer at (254) 710-4968 for more information.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?