Untitled

This new edition of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish, is published in honor of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing at Plymouth. Longfellow’s 1858 tale of a love triangle involving real-life historical figures Miles Standish, Priscilla Mullins, and John Alden is set against a backdrop of violence between the Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621. His work captures the bittersweet nature of the colonization of New England, combining humor, drama, fear, loss, hope, and love. As a descendant of two of the characters in the poem, Longfellow believed his work accurately reflected an oral history passed down within his family, making it a valuable resource for understanding the inner lives of America’s earliest Pilgrim settlers.

Description

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was an American poet and educator, widely regarded as one of the most influential poets in American literature. He was born in Portland, Maine, and grew up in a prominent and affluent family. His father, Stephen Longfellow, was a prominent lawyer and his mother, Zilpah Wadsworth, was a direct descendant of the influential Puritan theologian John Cotton. Longfellow attended private schools in Portland and was educated at Bowdoin College, where he graduated in 1825. After college, he traveled to Europe, where he studied foreign languages and literature. Upon his return, he became a professor of modern languages at Bowdoin College, where he taught for nearly 10 years. In 1836, he published his first book of poems, “Voices of the Night,” which was well received and established him as a major poet. Longfellow went on to publish over 150 poems, including “The Song of Hiawatha,” “Evangeline,” and “The Courtship of Miles Standish.” He was one of the most popular poets of the time and was praised for his use of accessible language and his ability to capture emotional and moral themes. His works were also notable for their focus on American history, culture, and landscape. Longfellow’s influence and legacy has endured for centuries. His work has been translated into many languages, and his poems are still widely read and studied in classrooms around the world. He was the first American to be honored with a bust in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey, a testament to his lasting fame. Longfellow was a major figure in the American literary canon, and his work continues to inspire readers and scholars.

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