FBS member Edward M. Cifelli will be the speaker for the April meeting of the Florida Bibliophile Society. On Sunday, April 14, 2019, beginning around 1:45 pm, he will give a presentation about his latest book, Longfellow in Love: Passion and Tragedy in the Life of the Poet.
Ed is a retired professor of English from New Jersey. Ed joined the Florida Bibliophile Society during the summer break. And on his membership form, he identified himself as an author, an editor, a collector, a teacher, a student and a scholar. A search at the OCLC WorldCat website reveals a number notches in his writing belt: Books he wrote about the American patriot David Humphreys and the American poet John Ciardi; afterwords he wrote for editions of the Divine Comedy that Ciardi translated; an Introduction of an edition of Milton's Paradise Lost and Other Poems; editions he edited of the Index of American Periodic Verse; a Preface he wrote for an edition of Longfellow's Evangeline and Selected Tales and Poems; a book of his own random essays and fugitive thoughts; and finally, what may well be his masterpiece, Longfellow in Love: Passion and Tragedy in the Life of the Poet.
Ed follows Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as he pursues a series of romances. It begins in 1828, Longfellow’s year in Europe with Giulia Persiani. The following year, back in the U.S., he falls in love with Mary Storer Potter. They married in 1831 and traveled widely, but their happiness was cut short when she died in 1835. During his year of mourning, he met Fanny Appleton. She was an 18-year-old heiress, not interested in settling down with Longfellow, then 29 and a Harvard professor. But he was steadfast, and six years later she changed her mind and married him. For 18 years they were “America’s couple,”and then tragedy struck. Ed will sign copies of his book after his presentation.
The presentation is free and open to the public.