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Priscilla, the Courtship of Miles Standish

Photo credit: Bridgeman Images

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Miles Standish (1584–1656) was the Captain of the settlement of Plymouth colony in what is now Massachusetts, USA. The story depicted here appears in a long poem of 1858 written by the American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). According to Longfellow, Standish asks his younger, better educated friend, John Alden, to woo the maid Priscilla on his behalf. Alden, although himself in love with the girl, agrees out of duty to his friend. Unimpressed that he seems unable to pay court for himself, Priscilla rejects Standish. Furious at this and believing himself to have been betrayed by Alden, he leaves for war against the Indians without saying farewell to his friend. In his absence, Alden and Priscilla spend increasing amounts of time together, until, hearing of Standish's death, they decide to marry.

Harris Museum & Art Gallery





oil on canvas


H 152.5 x W 101.5 cm

Accession number

PRSMG : P468

Acquisition method


Work type



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Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Market Square, Preston, Lancashire PR1 2PP England

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