Sunday, June 15, 2008

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's House, Boston, MA

Just an amble away from Harvard Square is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's home.  It's gorgeous!  Go there for a picnic, check out the gardens and don't pass up the informative tour.  Honestly, the tour guide seemed to LOVE Longfellow, George Washington and our country.  It was sort of inspiring. 

So Longfellow's house also sevred as George Washington's office/headquarters during the American Revolution - which is awesome.  Boston offers such an American historical education, and it's great to see how history and literature continuously go hand in hand decade after decade. 

(The tour guide said the house could be haunted and in this pic she looks like a ghost.  Notice the portrait of Longfellow's daughters in the background).

So, in the true style of a poet, Longfellow pined and pined after the woman that put a sparkle in his eye during a European venture.  Though she held out for seven years, she finally succumbed and agreed to marry Longfellow, the man who adored her.  

They moved into this beautiful home, yards away from The Charles River and Harvard.  Longfellow was a professor at our country's most infamous university and, judging from his home, seemed to spend his spare time reading, writing poetry and doting on his children and wife.  There are portraits of his three beautiful daughters, Alice, Edith and Anne in one room, and there is a bust of his wife, Fanny (formerly Appleton) in another. 

There was a also a painted picture of "the new world," with a Native American rowing in a boat on the ocean.  The tour guide pointed this out and made a connection to Longfellow's poem "Song of Hiawatha."  Perhaps this picture was the inspiration.  

Like I said, it's definitely worth a trip to this literary site.  The 45 minute informative tour only cost $3 and the stuff here was very caring and attentive.  When I told one Longfellow guide about my literary road trip, she immediately went in the back to get me a class set of Longfellow booklets with information and several of his poems.  She also got me a Teacher's Guide.  "This is part of the Big Read project," she added.  Also, the House has Sunday concerts during the summer and a schedule of other events they cater.  

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