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Evangeline (eBOOK)
DIGITAL EDITION
Evangeline (eBOOK)
DIGITAL EDITION

Evangeline (eBOOK)

In 1841, the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow heard the story of Acadian lovers, separated by the Expulsion and reunited at the end of their lives. He elaborated this simple tale into his long narrative poem, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie. Published in 1847, it soon gained worldwide popularity, and by 1865, both North American and European French versions were in print.

In reinventing "the best illustration of the faithfulness and constancy of women that I have ever heard of or read," Longfellow offered Acadians a believable story about their ancestors. They adopted it as a distillation of their history, a true legend of their past. The tragic story of Evangeline and Gabriel has captivated Acadians and non-Acadians ever since.

Evangeline, the dutiful 17-year-old daughter of an elderly Grand Pré farmer, is in love with Gabriel, the blacksmith's son. Before the two can exchange vows, British soldiers march into the village, burn it to the ground, order the villagers into ships, and send them far from their Nova Scotia homeland. In the mayhem, Evangeline witnesses her father's death from a broken heart and loses sight of Gabriel. Her desperate continent-wide search for her childhood sweetheart — taking her from the cypress groves of Louisiana to a forest mission in the Ozark Mountains — is one of the most affecting accounts of unfulfilled love ever written. More phantom than woman by the end, Evangeline is a hero of mythic proportions.

This sumptuously produced commemorative edition of Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie coincides with the 400th anniversary of the founding of Acadia. As well as the complete text of the poem, it features more than 40 engravings from an enchanting Victorian Evangeline published in 1866 by Bell and Daldy, London.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in 1807 in Portland, Maine, and he became a professor of modern languages at Harvard. His most famous narrative poems include The Song of Hiawatha, Paul Revere's Ride, "The Village Blacksmith," "The Wreck of the Hesperus." From his friend Nathaniel Hawthorne, Longfellow got a brief outline of a story from which he composed one of his most favorite poems, "Evangeline". The original story had Evangeline wandering about New England in search of her bridegroom. One of the first poets to take the landscape and stories of North America as his subjects, Longfellow became immensely popular all over the world, and he was the first American commemorated in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey. He was given honorary degrees at the great universities of Oxford and Cambridge, invited to Windsor by Queen Victoria, and called by request upon the Prince of Wales. He was also chosen a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and of the Spanish Academy. He died on March 24, 1882.

"A national heroine." — The Beaver

103 pages
Pub date: July 29, 2014