78 Facts About Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the first American to completely translate Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy and was one of the fireside poets from New England.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow graduated from Bowdoin College and became a professor there and, later, at Harvard College after studying in Europe.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, and he lived the remainder of his life in the Revolutionary War headquarters of George Washington in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote many lyric poems known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow became the most popular American poet of his day and had success overseas.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has been criticized for imitating European styles and writing poetry that was too sentimental.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow grew up in what is known as the Wadsworth-Longfellow House.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's father was a lawyer, and his maternal grandfather was Peleg Wadsworth, a general in the American Revolutionary War and a Member of Congress.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was named after his mother's brother Henry Wadsworth, a Navy lieutenant who had died three years earlier at the Battle of Tripoli.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was descended from English colonists who settled in New England in the early 1600s.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow attended a dame school at the age of three and was enrolled by age six at the private Portland Academy.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's mother encouraged his enthusiasm for reading and learning, introducing him to Robinson Crusoe and Don Quixote.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published his first poem in the Portland Gazette on November 17,1820, a patriotic and historical four-stanza poem called "The Battle of Lovell's Pond".

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow spent much of his summers as a child at his grandfather Peleg's farm in Hiram, Maine.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's grandfather was a founder of the college and his father was a trustee.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow boarded with a clergyman for a time before rooming on the third floor in 1823 of what is known as Winthrop Hall.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow joined the Peucinian Society, a group of students with Federalist leanings.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow pursued his literary goals by submitting poetry and prose to various newspapers and magazines, partly due to encouragement from Professor Thomas Cogswell Upham.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published nearly 40 minor poems between January 1824 and his graduation in 1825.

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When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow graduated from Bowdoin, he was ranked fourth in the class and had been elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

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Whatever the catalyst, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow began his tour of Europe in May 1826 aboard the ship Cadmus.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow traveled to France, Spain, Italy, Germany, back to France, then to England before returning to the United States in mid-August 1829.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published the travel book Outre-Mer: A Pilgrimage Beyond the Sea in serial form before a book edition was released in 1835.

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Shortly after the book's publication, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow attempted to join the literary circle in New York and asked George Pope Morris for an editorial role at one of Morris's publications.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow considered moving to New York after New York University proposed offering him a newly created professorship of modern languages, but there would be no salary.

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On September 14,1831, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow married Mary Storer Potter, a childhood friend from Portland.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published several nonfiction and fiction prose pieces in 1833 inspired by Irving, including "The Indian Summer" and "The Bald Eagle".

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In December 1834, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow received a letter from Josiah Quincy III, president of Harvard College, offering him the Smith Professorship of Modern Languages with the stipulation that he spend a year or so abroad.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow did not recover and died after several weeks of illness at the age of 22 on November 29,1835.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had her body embalmed immediately and placed in a lead coffin inside an oak coffin, which was shipped to Mount Auburn Cemetery near Boston.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow returned to the United States in 1836 and took up the professorship at Harvard.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was required to live in Cambridge to be close to the campus and, therefore, rented rooms at the Craigie House in the spring of 1837.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow began publishing his poetry in 1839, including the collection Voices of the Night, his debut book of poetry.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow became part of the local social scene, creating a group of friends who called themselves the Five of Clubs.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow met Boston industrialist Nathan Appleton and his family in the town of Thun, Switzerland, including his son Thomas Gold Appleton.

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In late 1839, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published Hyperion, inspired by his trips abroad and his unsuccessful courtship of Fanny Appleton.

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However, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow himself wrote, the poems were "so mild that even a Slaveholder might read them without losing his appetite for breakfast".

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On May 10,1843, after seven years, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow received a letter from Fanny Appleton agreeing to marry him.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was too restless to take a carriage and walked 90 minutes to meet her at her house.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published his epic poem Evangeline for the first time a few months later on November 1,1847.

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On June 14,1853, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow held a farewell dinner party at his Cambridge home for his friend Nathaniel Hawthorne, who was preparing to move overseas.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from Harvard in 1859.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was awakened from his nap and rushed to help her, throwing a rug over her, but it was too small.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow stifled the flames with his body, but she was badly burned.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was in and out of consciousness throughout the night and was administered ether.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had burned himself while trying to save her, badly enough that he was unable to attend her funeral.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was devastated by Frances' death and never fully recovered; he occasionally resorted to laudanum and ether to deal with his grief.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow expressed his grief in the sonnet "The Cross of Snow" which he wrote 18 years later to commemorate her death:.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's son was injured during the war, and he wrote the poem "Christmas Bells", later the basis of the carol I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in his journal in 1878: "I have only one desire; and that is for harmony, and a frank and honest understanding between North and South".

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow accepted an offer from Joshua Chamberlain to speak at his fiftieth reunion at Bowdoin College, despite his aversion to public speaking; he read the poem "Morituri Salutamus" so quietly that few could hear him.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is buried with both of his wives at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow never considered it complete enough to be published during his lifetime, but a posthumous edition was collected in 1883.

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Much of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's work is categorized as lyric poetry, but he experimented with many forms, including hexameter and free verse.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's published poetry shows great versatility, using anapestic and trochaic forms, blank verse, heroic couplets, ballads, and sonnets.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow often used didacticism in his poetry, but he focused on it less in his later years.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was inspired, for example, by Norse mythology for "The Skeleton in Armor" and by Finnish legends for The Song of Hiawatha.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow rarely wrote on current subjects and seemed detached from contemporary American concerns.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was important as a translator; his translation of Dante became a required possession for those who wanted to be a part of high culture.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow encouraged and supported other translators, as well.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow intended the anthology "to bring together, into a compact and convenient form, as large an amount as possible of those English translations which are scattered through many volumes, and are not accessible to the general reader".

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In 1874, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow oversaw a 31-volume anthology called Poems of Places which collected poems representing several geographical locations, including European, Asian, and Arabian countries.

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Poet John Greenleaf Whittier said that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poetry illustrated "the careful moulding by which art attains the graceful ease and chaste simplicity of nature".

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Rapidity with which American readers embraced Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was unparalleled in publishing history in the United States; by 1874, he was earning $3,000 per poem.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's popularity spread throughout Europe, as well, and his poetry was translated during his lifetime into Italian, French, German, and other languages.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote that Longfellow was "a determined imitator and a dextrous adapter of the ideas of other people", specifically Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow did not respond publicly but, after Poe's death, he wrote: "The harshness of his criticisms I have never attributed to anything but the irritation of a sensitive nature chafed by some indefinite sense of wrong".

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was such an admired figure in the United States during his life that his 70th birthday in 1877 took on the air of a national holiday, with parades, speeches, and the reading of his poetry.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has been presented as a gentle, placid, poetic soul, an image perpetuated by his brother Samuel Longfellow who wrote an early biography which specifically emphasized these points.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow suffered from neuralgia, which caused him constant pain, and he had poor eyesight.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote to friend Charles Sumner: "I do not believe anyone can be perfectly well, who has a brain and a heart".

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had difficulty coping with the death of his second wife.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was very quiet, reserved, and private; in later years, he was known for being unsocial and avoided leaving home.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had become one of the first American celebrities and was popular in Europe.

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In 1884, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow became the first non-British writer for whom a commemorative bust was placed in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey in London; he remains the only American poet represented with a bust.

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In 1909, a statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was unveiled in Washington, DC, sculpted by William Couper.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was honored in March 2007 when the United States Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating him.

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