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Pelican Publishing Company, 2003 - Poetry - 121 pages

This heartbreaking story of two Acadian lovers separated during the expulsion of the French settlers from Nova Scotia has become one of the most enduring, endearing, and popular poems in American literature. In this edition, the story is enhanced by the new insightful foreword by Henri-Dominique Paratte.

Longfellow's epic marks a stylistic shift from reflective lyrics and ballads to a longer tale in verse. The English edition contains sixty-one pages of notes and explanations, which make this an excellent study guide. Readers will discover even more about the poem that will for eternity move those "who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient . . . who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's devotion."

The renowned Pamphile Le May French translation is also available. Although not originally written in French, the beautiful language is perfectly suited for the poem and, in fact, would have been the mother tongue of Evangeline herself.

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Review: Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie

User Review  - Matthew Shoe - Goodreads

Alright for the sake of history. (view spoiler)[The ending ties the story up, but is not a happy one. (hide spoiler)] Read full review



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About the author (2003)

During his lifetime, Longfellow enjoyed a popularity that few poets have ever known. This has made a purely literary assessment of his achievement difficult, since his verse has had an effect on so many levels of American culture and society. Certainly, some of his most popular poems are, when considered merely as artistic compositions, found wanting in serious ways: the confused imagery and sentimentality of "A Psalm of Life" (1839), the excessive didacticism of "Excelsior" (1841), the sentimentality of "The Village Blacksmith" (1839). Yet, when judged in terms of popular culture, these works are probably no worse and, in some respects, much better than their counterparts in our time. Longfellow was very successful in responding to the need felt by Americans of his time for a literature of their own, a retelling in verse of the stories and legends of these United States, especially New England. His three most popular narrative poems are thoroughly rooted in American soil. "Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie" (1847), an American idyll; "The Song of Hiawatha" (1855), the first genuinely native epic in American poetry; and "The Courtship of Miles Standish" (1858), a Puritan romance of Longfellow's own ancestors, John Alden and Priscilla Mullens. "Paul Revere's Ride," the best known of the "Tales of a Wayside Inn"(1863), is also intensely national. Then, there is a handful of intensely personal, melancholy poems that deal in very successful ways with those themes not commonly thought of as Longfellow's: sorrow, death, frustration, the pathetic drift of humanity's existence. Chief among these are "My Lost Youth" (1855), "Mezzo Cammin" (1842), "The Ropewalk" (1854), "The Jewish Cemetery at Newport" (1852), and, most remarkable in its artistic success, "The Cross of Snow," a heartfelt sonnet so personal in its expression of the poet's grief for his dead wife that it remained unpublished until after Longfellow's death. A professor of modern literature at Harvard College, Longfellow did much to educate the general reading public in the literatures of Europe by means of his many anthologies and translations, the most important of which was his masterful rendition in English of Dante's Divine Comedy (1865-67).

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