September Community Forum at Catawba: The Immortal Lovers
September 4, 2009
Dr. W. Craig Turner, the current president of Catawba College, developed his love of English literature as an undergraduate at Baylor University. After completing a B.A. in English and History at Baylor, he remained in Waco long enough to earn an M.A. in English before moving on to finish his Ph.D. in British and American Literature at Tulane University. Subsequently Dr. Turner taught at Texas A & M University and Mississippi College before moving to Hardin-Simmons University, initially as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of English. In 2001 he was named president of Hardin-Simmons, and remained in that post until 2008 when he came to Salisbury as the twenty-first president of Catawba College.
Throughout his career, Dr. Turner has nurtured a special affection for the work of the Victorian poet and playwright Robert Browning and his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. "The story of the courtship and marriage of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett," he writes, "remains the most romantic true story of two writers in the history of our language more than 160 years after they exchanged vows. Much like the painting that hung over his writing desk — Caravaggio's Andromeda — before he ever met her, Robert proved to be the indomitable Perseus rescuing the invalid Elizabeth-Andromeda from the dragon who was her domineering father. Their elopement and subsequent married life in Italy fulfilled both their lives and enriched their writing careers. Their poetry remains among the best in the history of England, and their story continues to interest and inspire."
Dr. Turner will expand on the story of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning at the first Catawba College Community Forum of the 2009-2010 academic year. Join us at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ralph W. Ketner Hall on the campus of Catawba College for more on these two fascinating figures in the history of English literature.