Nick's Essays, Reviews, and OpEds
A Beautiful Ending: On Dying and Heaven in the Time of Longfellow
A Romantic Notion
One scholar’s lifetime of devotion to the letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Paper Trail: On letters, diaries, and other records of the American story at the Massachusetts Historical Society
Summer Camp for Book Nerds: Why I Keep Returning to Rare Book School
Notable Selections From the Archive
April 14, 1991, "Bibliophilia: Still No Cure in Sight," New York Times Sunday Book Review
July 1999, "Mount Athos, 'Where Every Stone Breathes Prayers," Smithsonian
January 12, 2004, "Fragile Guardians of Culture," Los Angeles Times
February 29. 2004, "A Bitter End to Hub Gem," Boston Globe
May 6, 2004, "Honorable Death for a Rusty Warrior," Los Angeles Times
April 24, 2006, "Bibliophiles Inside the Wire," Los Angeles Times
May 8, 2006, "Iraq: The Cradle of the Written Word," Christian Science Monitor
May 26, 2006, "When We Said Goodbye to the USS Oriskany," Christian Science Monitor
February 2007, "Famous Once Again," Smithsonian
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).
February 2009, "Rules He Lived By: Honest Abe's Book of Grammar," Fine Books & Collections
December 8, 2013, "A Paperless Society? Not So Fast," Los Angeles Times
Summer 2016, "A Dante Devotee," Fine Books & Collections
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.
February 2017, “Washington—and Longfellow—Slept Here,” Fine Books & Collections, special report of interest to bibliophiles, Fine Books & Collections.
March 14, 2020, "'The Hunt for History' Review: A Textual Detective," Wall Street Journal
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.
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