Author: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-81), the US poet, was born at Portland, Maine, the son of a lawyer. In 1811 he was sent to Bowdoin College, where his father was a trustee, and after graduating was appointed to a new chair of modern languages. Returning from a three-year trip to Europe in 1819 he began writing in the North American Review. At the end of the year, Longfellow was invited to become professor of modern languages at Harvard. He paid a second visit to Europe accompanied by his wife, who, however, died in Amsterdam. In 1843 Longfellow married for the second time. Having now a sufficient and secure income from his writings, he resigned his professorship and devoted himself entirely to literature. In 1861 his wife was accidentally burned to death, a tragedy which affected him deeply. In 1868 he paid a last visit to England, where he was received with the highest honour.