Longfellow and the Occult: A Talk and Open House to Kick off the Wadsworth-Longfellow House Season

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Speaker: James Horrigan

Longtime Wadsworth-Longfellow House guide James Horrigan kicks off the 2014 house season with a lecture that looks at the poet’s lifelong interest in the supernatural. In addition to touching on reincarnation, astrology, numerology, automatic writing (featuring a poem of Longfellow’s that can only be read with a mirror), and dowsing, James pays special attention to what one biographer called Longfellow’s “rich dream life.” The poet left behind fascinating accounts of dreams he had of Charles Sumner, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and many others.

The talk is followed by an Open House until 2PM, during which lecture attendees are invited to tour the Wadsworth Longfellow House at their own pace. Those who choose can linger in the dining room to hear James tell the story behind the painting of Charles O. Cole's portrait of Longfellow, and the dreams and mysticism that accompanied it.