1992-8 | Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1882, 19th century
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
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Keys to History

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, in 1807. A child genius, he started school at the age of three and became interested in literature very early on.

After his graduation from Bowdoin College, near Portland, he was asked to stay on as a professor of literature. In 1834 he was hired by the prestigious Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

His first great literary success, Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, was published in 1847. Buoyed by the success of his poem, he decided to devote himself entirely to writing and resigned from Harvard in 1854.

Longfellow was one of the first American authors to explore truly American themes. Native peoples and the landscape, as well as American history and traditions, all provided material for his writing. Some of his works have become literary classics: The Song of Hiawatha (1855), The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858) and Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863).

Longfellow died in Cambridge on March 24, 1882.

  • What

    In this engraving, the author is shown surrounded by scenes illustrating some of his poems.

  • Where

    To the left there is a woman, perhaps Evangeline, watching a boat leave.

  • When

    This engraving was published in 1881.

  • Who

    This portrait of Longfellow was published by W. Edgar Marshall.