Vander Poel Collection Items To Be Displayed On Browning Day

  • News Photo 1893
    Front cover of the beautifully illustrated Kelmscott edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer
  • News Photo 1894
    A page from the beautifully illustrated Kelmscott edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer
May 3, 2004

Rare items from the Halsted B. Vander Poel Collection will be unveiled May 7 during Baylor's University's annual Browning Day celebration at Armstrong Browning Library.

Dr. Stephen Prickett, library director and The Margaret Root Brown Chair for Robert Browning and Victorian Studies, purchased 25 lots from the collection at a March 3 auction at Christie's in London. The acquisition includes manuscripts, books, correspondence and other materials relating to Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and 19th-century literature.

Prickett will give the Browning Day lecture on the importance of the recent acquisition at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 7, in the Hankamer Treasure Room, where the Vander Poel materials will be displayed before and after the program. A reception will follow in the Cox Reception Hall.

"We hope the Baylor and Waco communities will take advantage of the opportunity to see this remarkable addition to Armstrong Browning Library," Prickett said.

An autographed manuscript of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Essay on Mind" and the correspondence between Robert Browning and Julia Wedgwood were the Library's top priorities at the sale. A nice complement to the correspondence was a selection of books that Browning had presented to Wedgwood, which the Library also purchased.

The new collection features other significant acquisitions, including letters written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning regarding her poetry, as well as letters and works by Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Eliza Cook, Charles Kingsley and John Ruskin, and a wealth of other materials relating to the Brownings and other 19th-century writers. Perhaps the most spectacular printed work is the Kelmscott edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, which is beautifully illustrated, much of it by William Morris, typographer and noted designer.

For more information, contact Kathleen Miller at (254) 710-4968. Browning Day is held annually to celebrate the birthdays of the Brownings.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Media also are invited to preview the items after 3 p.m. May 6. Call Kathleen Miller to make arrangements.

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