previous next

Chapter 24: Longfellow as a man

Longfellow always amused himself, as do most public men, with the confused and contradictory descriptions of his personal appearance: with the Newport bookseller who exclaimed, ‘Why, you look more like a sea captain than a poet!’ and a printer who described him as ‘a hale, portly, fine-looking man, nearly six feet in height, well proportioned, with a tendency to fatness; brown hair and blue eyes, and bearing the general appearance of a comfortable hotelkeeper.’ More graphic still, and on the whole nearer to the facts, is this description by an English military visitor who met him at a reception in Boston in 1850. I happened upon the volume containing it amid a pile of literary lumber in one of the great antiquarian bookstores of London:—

‘He was rather under the middle size, but gracefully formed, and extremely prepossessing in his general appearance. His hair was light-colored, and tastefully disposed. Below a fine forehead gleamed two of the most beautiful eyes ’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Henry Longfellow (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1850 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: