Baylor Celebrates 'Browning Day'

May 1, 2009

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

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Baylor University's Armstrong Browning Library (ABL) will be filled with Browning Day birthday celebrations during the lecture "Robert Browning and the Actors" at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 7, in the Hankamer Treasure Room on the Baylor campus.

Browning Day, a celebration of the birthdays of English poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and former Baylor English department chair Dr. A.J. Armstrong, will feature visiting scholar Michael Meredith, who is the Curator of the Modern Collections in the Eton College Library in Berkshire, England.

Meredith has served many years as a collector of the Browning's past works by building up a large collection of 19th and 20th century rare books, letters and manuscripts, including some of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's family papers.

Meredith is the general editor of the Oxford University Press Poetical Works of Robert Browning and has written extensively on the Brownings. In 1989, he helped organize the centenary exhibition of Robert Browning and is about to complete his third term as president of the Browning Society of London.

The celebration will continue with special choral music performing based on Victorian poetry by B.A.S.I.C., a local chamber group under the direction of Karen Hogue.

A reception will follow the Browning Day lecture at 3:30 p.m. in the Cox Reception Hall.

The Browning Day events will continue with "A Musical Evening" at 7 p.m. Friday, May 8, in the library's McLean Foyer of Meditation.

The evening will feature Dr. Amy Vail, assistant professor of classics at Baylor, who will perform Baroque, classical and contemporary sections. Carlos Colón, a Waco composer, will perform "Laments on Wings" in celebration of the lives of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

A reception will follow the Browning Day concert at 8 p.m. in the Cox Reception Hall.

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.

Browning Day events are free and open to the public.

For more information about Browning Day, contact ABL at (254) 710-4968.

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