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Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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Whence these stories?
History in Longfellow's Poetry
Panel discussion for Longfellow's 215 Birthday

Recorded on February 23, 2022

February 2022 marked the 215th birthday observance of famed 19th century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. To mark the occasion, Maine Historical Society and Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site hosted a panel of experts to discuss the stories and people from history that inspired some of Longfellow's best-known poems: "Paul Revere's Ride," "Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie," and "The Song of Hiawatha."

What motivated Longfellow to write these poems? What history did he draw upon--and ignore--when writing them? In what ways might the poems be problematic, and how are they looked upon and studied today? Watch to learn more and reflect on the life and work of Maine's Fireside Poet.

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