Biography of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

American poet, born in 1807 in Portland (Maine) and died in 1882, apart from writing, dedicated to teaching at Harvard University. His life and his work were marked by the deaths of his two wives: the first one, Mary, died in Rotterdam in November 1835; the second, French, died in a pathetic way in 1861.

His novel Hyperion (1839) is the result of the aflicion which caused the death of his first wife: a young man takes refuge in the hobby of traveling to forget his grief. The same year is Voices of the Night, work and outstanding didactic poems A Psalm of Life, Footsteps of Angels, and The Reaper and the Flowers. In 1841 he/she published Ballads and other Poems, containing poems as well known as The Wreck of the Hesperus and The Village Blacksmith.

Lonfellow met Dickens in United States in 1842, and that same year went to visit him in London; This trip was the result his work Poems of Slavery. In another of his travels, this time to Spain, it coincided with Washington Irving, although he/she knew to Hawthorne, with whom he/she had studied at Bowdoin College.

After his wedding with Frances Appleton in 1843 and until his death, time after which certain shadows and dark shades can be seen in his work, composed: The Belfry of Bruges and other Poems (1847), Evangeline (1849), The Song of Hiawatha (1858), and The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858). In Evangeline, loving poem subtitled A tale of Acadie highlights the tragedy told through sentences long, full of images, so the mastery of this author of the myth and the legend returns to show themselves.

In them of a Wayside Inn (1863), Longfellow followed the structure of the Canterbury Tales and the Decameron, and mixed writing with everyday life. As a man with an extensive culture, it not only dealt with the one associated with their country, but knew the Spanish lyric culture and the Italian and in fact translated into English the coplas of Jorge Manrique, and Dante.

Other of his works are: Christus (1872), in which included Golden Leyend of the year 1851; The Masque of Pandora (1875), Ultima Thule (1880), and In the harbor (1882), are the lastest works he/she composed, and in which his reflections on old age and maturity can be seen.

Related topics

Literature of United States of America.

Internet links; Page about the author in English.