A scholarly attempt to see Longfellow in a realistic perspective, in the light of hitherto unused manuscript material....

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LONGFELLOW: A Full length Portrait

A scholarly attempt to see Longfellow in a realistic perspective, in the light of hitherto unused manuscript material. Actually it sets out to debunker the bright young debunkers of the '20's. The author, a professor at Boston University, cannot make an exciting case out of Longfellow's serene and pacific character, he does build long-neglected values,- as a student of western culture and languages, as a fine translator, as the best loved and most frequently published American poet of his times, as a radiant Christian gentleman. Longfellow's idyllically happy marriage, his home at Craigie House, his fine human relationships make a heart warming portrait. In his modest way, Longfellow was a forerunner of Henry James, as he was a follower of Washington irving. Among the new material used is an article of rich appreciation of James, and another of Walt Whitman. While not pretending to be full-bodied criticism of his work, this does rectify some of the detractions. Interesting references to many of the half forgotten poems may send readers back for rereading. This is a valuable piece of literary criticism, unlikely to be popular for it is of necessity unsensational, but it should be welcome as a definitive study of a poet who is widely known.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 1955

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Longmans, Green

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1955