Armstrong Browning Library to Host Annual Browning Day Celebration

April 5, 2018

WACO, Texas (April 5, 2018) – On Friday, April 20, Armstrong Browning Library will host its annual Browning Day celebration to commemorate the birthdays of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and Robert Browning and honor their life’s work. The celebration begins with a reception at 3:00 p.m., followed by music and a lecture at Armstrong Browning Library.

“Browning Day is the Armstrong Browning Libraryís annual celebration of the lives and works of Victorian poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning” said Jennifer Borderud, Director of Armstrong Browning Library. “We are looking forward to hearing Professor Kirstie Blairís lecture on the Brownings and working-class culture. She has remained a friend of the Armstrong Browning Library, and we are very excited to have her back with us for this special event.”

Professor Kirstie Blair will explore the Brownings’ legacy in her lecture, “Such Very Fierce Radicals: The Brownings and Working-Class Culture.”

“I have a longstanding interest in working-class literature and culture during the Victorian period, and in the ways in which ‘canonical’ authors and working-class writers are connected” said Blair. “Were the Brownings poets ‘of the people’, or not? For my presentation, I will consider whether the Brownings’ works were read by working-class people with liberal or radical political sympathies.”

Professor Blair has taught at the University of Glasgow and served as a Chair at the University of Stirling. She currently serves as the Head of School for University of Stratclyde Glasgowís School of Humanities where her research specializes in Victorian literature and culture. She also served as the Armstrong Browning Libraryís Margaret Root Brown Chair in Robert Browning and Victorian Studies in 2012.

"Browning Day is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of the Brownings and the many ways their works have influenced culture up to the present day," said John Wilson, interim dean of University Libraries. "We are particularly excited to have Dr. Blair returning to present on the intersections between the working class and the creative class of their day."

A musical performance by Justin Kroll and Julia Powers will precede the lecture. “Justin and Julia will be singing selections of the Browningsí poetry set to music. They both have phenomenal voices. Their talents are a wonderful addition to this annual event,” said Borderud.

This event is free and open to the public. Attendees are also encouraged to view the new exhibition in the Hankamer Treasure Room. For more information, contact Carlye Thornton at or visit