Longfellow in Love

Passion and Tragedy in the Life of the Poet


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About the Book

After four years travelling through Europe and a yearlong romance with Giulia Persiani in Rome, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow came back home in 1829 and fell in love again, this time with Mary Storer Potter, whom he married in 1831. They travelled together to England and Scandinavia in 1834 but their happiness was cut short when she died in 1835.
In 1836, traveling in Switzerland, he met the woman who would become the grand passion of his life, 18-year old Fanny Appleton of Boston. But she, a wealthy textile heiress, was not interested in settling down with a Harvard professor. She rebuffed his advances for six years—then suddenly changed her mind and married him on July 13, 1843. For the next 18 years they were “America’s couple,” and Longfellow became America’s poet—and then tragedy struck once again.

About the Author(s)

Edward M. Cifelli has written literary biographies of two other American poets, David Humphreys (18th century) and John Ciardi (20th century). He has also edited books of letters, poetry and essays, and written a decade of movie reviews for the New Jersey Herald. He lives in Dade City, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Edward M. Cifelli
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 298
Bibliographic Info: 17 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7505-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3423-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Prologue: December 2, 1834 3
Part One: Mary Storer Potter
1. From Portland and Brunswick to Paris, Madrid and Rome 5
2. “Her Ladyship” 41
3. “Utter darkness” 59
4. The “Being Beauteous” 79
Part Two: Frances Elizabeth Appleton
5. The Rogue and the Professor 93
6. Longo and Carlo 115
7. The Dark Lady and the Mad Man 130
8. The Cure 149
9. The Miracle 179
Part Three: “Ever and forever, thy Fanny”
10. From Craigie House to Longfellow House 192
11. Evangeline, Minnehaha and Priscilla 226
12. July 9, 1861 242
Chapter Notes 263
Bibliography 280
Index 283