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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 2 0 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 17: resignation of Professorship—to death of Mrs. Longfellow (search)
was present, that I have obtained her consent to reprint it in the Appendix to this volume. Longfellow's next poem reverted to hexameters once more, inasmuch as Evangeline had thoroughly outlived the early criticisms inspired by this meter. The theme had crossed his mind in 1856, and he had begun to treat it in dramatic form and verse, under the name it now bears; but after a year's delay he tried it again under the name of Priscilla, taking the name, possibly, from an attractive English Quakeress, Priscilla Green, whose sweet voice had charmed him in a public meeting, breaking now and then, as he says, into a kind of rhythmic charm in which the voice seemed floating up and down on wings. It has been thought that he transferred in some degree the personality of this worthy woman to the heroine of his story, their Christian names being the same; but he afterwards resumed the original title, The Courtship of Miles Standish. He wrote it with great ease between December, 1857, and