Henry W. Longfellow

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Henry W. Longfellow

Signature - 1875

Bold signature, dated Cambridge, Oct 30, 1875.

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW (1807-1882) was an American educator and poet whose works include such classics as “Paul Revere’s Ride” and “The Song of Hiawatha.”

Longfellow predominantly wrote lyric poetry, known for its musicality, which often presented stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas.

Over the years, Longfellow’s personality had become part of his reputation. He had 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. As James Russell Lowell said, Longfellow had an “absolute sweetness, simplicity, and modesty”.

In 1875, Longfellow wrote the poem Morituri Salutamus, containing the memorable lines:

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books.


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