Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton

Josi S Kilpack (Author)


It's 1836, and nineteen-year-old Fanny Appleton, a privileged daughter of a wealthy, upper-class Boston industrialist, is touring Europe with her family. Like many girls of her day, she enjoys the fine clothes, food, and company of the elite social circles. But unlike her peers, Fanny is also drawn to education, literature, and more intellectual pursuits.Published author and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is also touring Europe, but under much different circumstances. Recently widowed, he is gathering research for a new publication that he hopes will secure his professorship at Harvard College.Befriended by the Appleton family while visiting Switzerland, Henry is introduced to Fanny and sees in her a kindred spirit, a lover of language and literature and high ideals. He is in love. Fanny, however, is uncertain. He is from a much lower social class and is older than she is. How could such a relationship ever thrive?Could a book of Henry's poetry, personally delivered, persuade Fanny to believe in a love that lasts forever and forever?

Product Details

Shadow Mountain
Publish Date
April 05, 2016
6.0 X 1.1 X 8.9 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Josi Kilpack is the award-winning author of the Culinary Mystery series, and wrote two critically-acclaimed novels in A Proper Romance series: A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton's Folly. She lives with her family in the Southwest.


"Kilpack (Lord Fenton's Folly) combines fact and fiction in this well-researched, emotionally charged tale based on the real courtship of Henry Longfellow, America's first professional poet, and Fanny Appleton, an intelligent Boston heiress. The relationship was rocky and unlikely. When Henry meets Fanny in Europe in 1836, shortly after the death of his first wife, he is immediately impressed by Fanny's sharp mind, fiery disposition, and inquisitive nature. Fanny is intrigued by his intellectual capabilities and his faith in her abilities, but is put off by their 10-year age difference and his lower station. Henry maintains a friendship with Fanny's family, and his dogged pursuit of Fanny confuses her; the widower's ardent attentions don't jibe with her ideas about love that lasts forever. Henry's inner turmoil is absolutely heart-wrenching, as his continuing passion finds expression in his writing but meets resistance and even unkindness at times from Fanny and her friends. Kilpack vividly re-creates the era in which the couple lived and constructs a love story that even the pickiest poet would declare fit for the ages."-- (01/11/2016)
"New romance series based on the actual courtships of renowned writers, artists and musicians. Kilpack richly describes the customs and mores of the time, while appealing to present day sensibilities. Readers will gain a very different understanding of Longfellow, both through the story, as he and Fanny marry and live together joyously until fate interrupts their "happily ever after" and through the accompanying materials, including an informative time line, interesting chapter notes, and useful discussion questions for book clubs. This is an unusual and thoroughly engaging and eye-opening approach to historical romance. The next in Kilpack's thoughtful series will feature Sir Walter Scott."-- (03/01/2016)
"Absorbing love story that includes an impressive tour of Victorian Europe. The portraits of Fanny and Henry are superb, as is the rest of Fanny's family. The expectations of society are accurately portrayed."--Romantic Times
"A delightful story of love and second chances. Kilpack skillfully captures the time period, setting, and historical figures of the nineteenth century with graceful and articulate writing. Readers will appreciate the authenticity and intelligence of Henry and Fanny's relationship. Kilpack delves deep into the couple's complex courtship, and mixes the perfect amount of history with romance. The novel's chapter notes and timeline offer additional insight into Henry and Fanny's lives. Discussion questions make Forever and Forever a fantastic candidate for book club. Fans of romance and/or historical fiction will fall for this novel!"-- (04/04/2016)
"Based on biographies, letters and journals, fleshed out to provide a sketch of the life and times of an older widower and a young woman irresistibly drawn together...The question arises throughout the book - why would the daughter of a wealthy and respected Boston family even consider a man socially so far beneath her? The answer to this is provided in the frequent extended interior monologues, especially those of Fanny Appleton...Kilpack has included a few stanzas of Longfellow's love poems to ground the reader in his reality as he faces the long years of rejection. She also includes at the end of the book a timeline, along with extensive chapter notes, a brief bibliography and discussion questions. This book fills a void for readers of romantic historical novels while illustrating the issue of class in early 19th-century Boston society. "-- (11/01/2016)
"A vivid look into the love story of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Frances Gold Appleton mingling fictionalized details with historical records. Kilpack's well-researched and expertly woven love story between Fanny and Henry is a captivating and enjoyable read, especially for readers who love proper or Regency romances or historical fiction. "Forever and Forever" beautifully transports readers into the time period as well as the life of one of America's most famous poets. Kilpack includes a timeline and chapter notes at the end of the book so readers can separate the facts from her fictional elements."--Deseret News