HWL. The Poets and Poetry of Europe.  Autograph manuscript, ca. 1845.


Longfellow Papers MS Am 1340 (66). Houghton Library.

In 1845, Longfellow published his important anthology The Poets and Poetry of Europe with Carey & Hart in Philadelphia, a tour de force through the history of poetry in ten different European nations.

A page from the voluminous manuscript-page 5 from the folder marked "Scandinavia"-vividly illustrates how much Longfellow, whose eyes gave him trouble during these years, had depended on the help of his wife Fanny and his colleague, the classicist C. C. Felton. The excerpt, from the introduction to "Danish Language and Poetry," begins with a short passage in Longfellow's handwriting ("The other most distinguished names of the eighteenth century are….") and continues with an addition written by Fanny Longfellow ("author of several allegorical poems…."). After that, Cornelius Felton takes over ("Johan Clemens Tode….") for the rest of the page, with the exception of an insert in Fanny's hand in the penultimate line ("Peter Andreas Heiberg") and a marginal note, also in Fanny's handwriting.