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See the fact file below for more information on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow or alternatively, you can download our 22 page Henry Wadsworth Longfellow worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Early Life and Interests
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on February 27, 1807, in Portland, Maine, part of Massachusetts. He was one of eight children of Stephen Longfellow, a local lawyer, and Zilpah Wadsworth, daughter of a Revolutionary War veteran.
- Young Henry enrolled at Portland Academy and then Bowdoin College. He was a bright student who excelled in foreign languages. As a young boy, Henry was interested in stories set in foreign places like the plays of Shakespeare and The Arabian Nights.
- While in Bowdoin, he met Nathaniel Hawthorne, a fellow student. By 1825, he graduated and traveled to Europe to study modern languages. After three years, he returned to teach in Bowdoin.
- In 1831, Longfellow married Mary Storer Potter, a former classmate, and publisher.
- In 1843, seven years after the death of his wife, Longfellow married Frances Appleton, with whom he had six children.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Literary Career
- Aside from teaching, Longfellow published his first book, Outre-Mer: A Pilgrimage beyond the Sea, a description of his European travels.
- In late 1835, tragedy struck when Longfellow’s wife, Mary, died after miscarrying. He grieved for her in Germany and Switzerland.
- By 1835, he returned to the United States and took a position at Harvard’s Modern Languages Department.
- After three years, he published Voices of the Night, his first collection of poems, followed by Ballads and Other Poems.
- Voices of the Night contains poems like Hymn to the Night, The Light of the Stars and The Psalm of Life, which gained him popularity.
- In 1847, he published Evangeline, a book-length poem that depicts the tragic love of two young couples separated by time.
- By 1854, after years of budget cuts in teaching, Longfellow decided to write poetry full-time.
- Hiawatha and The Courtship of Miles Standish and Other Poems were soon published.
- Prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War, Longfellow wrote Paul Revere’s Ride as a call for courage.
- In 1861, Civil War broke out and the United States was divided between the North and the South. At the same time, Longfellow’s second wife, Frances, died from burn wounds after her dress caught fire. Distraught, Longfellow did write for a long time.
- After six years, he published the translation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy.
- By the end of the Civil War in 1865 until 1880, Longfellow published more books of poetry.
Legacy and Death
- On March 24, 1882, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died of acute peritonitis. He endured severe stomach pains and opium treatment for days before his body finally gave up.
- When Longfellow died, he was one of the most successful and famous American writers. In addition, his works were also recognized in Europe with admirers including Queen Victoria, Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde.
- Among his poetry includes Poems on Slavery (1842), The Golden Legend (1851), Flower-de-Luce (1867), Christus: A Mystery (1872), Three Books of Song (1872), Aftermath (1873), The Masque of Pandora and Other Poems (1875) and Ultima Thule (1880). In addition, he also wrote fiction works like Hyperion: A Romance in 1839 and Kavanagh: A Tale, in 1849.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Civil War poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Henry Wadsworth Longfellow worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who was a 19th-century American novelist and poet known for his works like Evangeline, Poems on Slavery, Voices of the Night, Paul Revere’s Ride and translation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Facts
- Fireside Poets
- Paul Revere’s Ride
- Works of Longfellow
- American v. British Poetry
- The Song of Hiawatha
- Figure of Speech
- Patriotic Poem
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