Though a major figure in American cultural history, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was relatively neglected by literary scholars until the past twenty years. Recent scholarship emphasizes Longfellow's cosmopolitan and transnational vision, yet a great deal of work remains to be done to understand Longfellow the person, his work, and his work's reception in American culture and the larger world. A particular need is biographical studies, where better understanding of Longfellow and race, sexuality, and gender is needed. Much archival work, particularly on his unpublished journals, remains. Many of his major works have yet to receive the attention from scholars that they deserve. And his reception outside the US is a rich area for future work. However, the key question for the study of Longfellow will be reconciling the transnational vision of the poet with his reception in the US, where he was a key figure in the development of middle-class white culture in the late nineteenth and the twentieth century.

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