Longfellow, Henry W.
Letter to Louisa (Goddard) Whitney
Description: A handwritten, four-page letter signed on April 25, 1877, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to fellow writer, Louisa Whitney (Goddard) (American, 1819-1893). In the letter, Longfellow expresses his gratitude to Whitney for sending him a copy of her newly published book entitled, "The Burning of the Convent: A Narrative of the Destruction, by a Mob, of the Ursuline School on Mount Benedict, Charlestown, as Remembered by One of the Pupils". Longfellow makes reference to his fascination with Susanne Perrault, a student at the convent who was vividly described by Whitney in her book. The letter is unhoused and accompanied by envelope with handwritten provenance.
Date: April 25, 1877
Inscriptions: Dated upper right; signed verso
Transcription: Camb[ridge]. April 25. / 1877. / Dear Mrs Whitney, / You must have thought / me extremely negligent, and perhaps wholly unpardonable, / in not having thanked you / sooner for your kindness / in sending me a copy of / "The Burning of the Convent". / Certainly I should be / so, had I not a valid / excuse. / In the note, that came / with the volume, there was / no address given, and I / did not know to what / Mrs Whitney I was in / debted for the gift, nor / to what place ro send / my acknowledgements. / I have just learned / who and where the writer / of the book is, and / hasten to explain, as far as / possible, my seeming neg- / lect. / Meanwhile I have read / the book with very great / interest. It's like a / chapter of romance. I / found it impossible to lay / it aside, till I had read / it through from the first / page to the last. / The picture you draw / of Susanne Perrault quite / fascinates me. I wonder / what has become of her, / and her golden locks. / Please accept my / sincere thanks for your / kind remembrance, and / believe me / Yours very kindly / Henry W. Longfellow
Additional Information: In the letter, Henry Longfellow expresses his gratitude to Whitney for sending him a copy of her newly published book entitled, The Burning of the Convent: A Narrative of the Destruction, by a Mob, of the Ursuline School on Mount Benedict, Charlestown, as Remembered by One of the Pupils.