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Nick's Essays, Reviews, and OpEds


Harvard University

Instituto Cervantes at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences 

January 2023

“The Grooming of a Harvard Hispanist: George Ticknor’s Mentorship of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,” Estudio del Observatorio/Observatorio Studies, (Cervantes Institute/FAS Harvard University) English version, Spanish version.

Fine Books & Collections Magazine

Spring 2023
The Age of Parchment” 

In his latest book, Bruce Holsinger, a medieval scholar and bestselling novelist, delves into the biomolecular analysis of premodern manuscript.

Summer 2020

"Acute Bibliomania"

Reflections on the writing of A Gentle Madness, twenty-five years after its publication.


January/February 2021
The Longfellows and Their Books"


Humanities Magazine

Summer 2020

A Beautiful Ending: On Dying and Heaven in the Time of Longfellow. Read Here

September October 2015

A Romantic Notion

One scholar’s lifetime of devotion to the letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Read Here

January/February 2014

Paper Trail:  On letters, diaries, and other records of the American story at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Read Here

November/December 2014

Summer Camp for Book Nerds: Why I Keep Returning to Rare Book School. Read Here

                                                     Notable Selections From the Archive

April 14, 1991, "Bibliophilia: Still No Cure in Sight," New York Times Sunday Book Review . Read Here

July 1999, "Mount Athos, 'Where Every Stone Breathes Prayers," Smithsonian. Read Here

January 12, 2004, "Fragile Guardians of Culture," Los Angeles Times. Read Here

February 29. 2004, "A Bitter End to Hub Gem," Boston Globe. Read Here

May 6, 2004, "Honorable Death for a Rusty Warrior," Los Angeles Times. Read Here

April 24, 2006, "Bibliophiles Inside the Wire," Los Angeles Times. Read Here

May 8, 2006, "Iraq: The Cradle of the Written Word," Christian Science Monitor. Read Here

May 26, 2006, "When We Said Goodbye to the USS Oriskany," Christian Science Monitor. Read Here

February 2007, "Famous Once Again," Smithsonian Read Here

June 2007,  "The Bard Out Loud," Bates Magazine, reprinted from The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them (Gotham Books, 2006). Read Here

February 2009, "Rules He Lived By: Honest Abe's Book of Grammar," Fine Books & Collections. Read Here

December 8, 2013, "A Paperless Society? Not So Fast," Los Angeles Times Read Here

Summer 2016, "A Dante Devotee," Fine Books & Collections Read Here

July 21, 2016, “Cultivating Beauty: A New Exhibit Unites Celia Thaxter’s Splendid Illustrated Book, An Island Garden, with Childe Hassam’s Paintings From the Isles of Shoals,” special report of interest to bibliophiles, Fine Books & Collections. Read Here

February 2017, “Washington—and Longfellow—Slept Here,” Fine Books & Collections, special report of interest to bibliophiles, Fine Books & Collections. Read Here

March 14, 2020, "'The Hunt for History' Review: A Textual Detective," Wall Street Journal. Read Here

August 6, 2020, Introduction to The Widening Stain, by W. Bolingbroke Johnson (pseudonym of Morris Bishop), first published in 1942, newly released by Otto Penzler Publishers in American Mystery Classics series.  Read Here

August 21, 2020,  "Five Best: Nicholas A. Basbanes on the American Renaissance Poets, From the Author, most Recently, of 'Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,' Wall Street Journal Read Here

January/February 2021 (Vol XXIX, No.1), "The Longfellows and Their Books,"Caxtonian Read Here

Autumn 2021 (Vol. 70.2),  The Book Collector, “Thanks for the Memories: Recalling Authors and Their Inscriptions,”  Part I.

Winter 2021 (Vol. 70.3),  Part II, The Book Collector, “Thanks for the Memories: Recalling Authors and Their Inscriptions,” Part II.

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