Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: Dear Mr. Longfellow

By Sandy Amazeen Jan 30, 2013, 7:00 GMT

Book Review: Dear Mr. Longfellow

Brings to life a famous figure of American literature and a distant, simpler age in the history of our countryUnder a spreading chestnut treeThe village smithy stands;The smith, a mighty man is he,With large and sinewy handsIf you were attending school in the late-nineteenth century, it\'s very likely that your teacher would have taught you to memorize these lines from "The Village Blacksmith" by renowned poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. And ...more

Known as the Children’s Poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was beloved by people of all ages and while most could recite his popular poem “The Village Blacksmith”, for a long time little was known about his childhood. As his popularity grew, schoolchildren from around the country began writing Longfellow asking about his life and work. Longfellow took great pains to answer every letter up until old age made it too difficult and through a sampling of these letters, readers learn about the life of this remarkable, gentle man. Equally interesting is the peek at what life was like during the mid-1800’s, a time when the generous spirit of Cambridge, Massachusetts schoolchildren provided Longfellow with a chair made from the very chestnut tree he wrote about. Period photos of Longfellow, his family and assorted settings along with a selection of poetry make this delightful book a treat for readers young and old and deserves a place in any library.

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