Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie
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Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  965 ratings  ·  100 reviews
The poem about the expulsion of the Acadians has become mythologized and immortalized by Acadians in the Maritimes and Cajuns in Louisiana.
Paperback, 95 pages
Published December 1st 1991 by Nimbus Publishing (CN) (first published 1847)
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Sammy
"Fairest of all the maids was Evangeline, Benedict's daughter!"
"Noblest of all the youths was Gabriel, son of the blacksmith!"

I remember when my 6th grade teacher introduced this book to our class as a small assignment to understand a part of Canada's history. It was kind of an introduction to our big Canada Projects due at the end of the year. In class, we read a base outline, including only major details. I was almost satisfied with that until I saw the ending. It wasn't there. The part that w...more
Abigail

I was amazed by how touching this historical epic poem was.
As I began to read it, I was fascinated with even the simplest ideas in the book. Longfellow has a nice way of describing every little thing so eloquently and in such precise details.
"Now through rushing chutes, among green islands, where plumelike cotton trees nodded their shadowy crests, they swept with the current,
Then emerged into road lagoons..."

"Nodded their shadowy crests" is definitely my favorite line from this verse. It h...more
Brian
This is the Acadian Expulsion given the Titanic treatment: terrible thing + love story.

Below is my synopsis of the first 20 pages. After many pages painting Acadia as the most perfect, pure, and beautiful place, the English arrive. It's a pretty jarring and entertaining tone shift. Shit gets real pretty quick. The language is a bit flowery which softens the action but it is truly a violent scene. Their village is completely destroyed, families are torn apart, people die.

While it does get fairly...more
Teresa
It's been more years than I wish to count since I read this. (When I was a Girl Scout visiting the Evangeline statue in St Martinville, Louisiana, with my troop?) While in Maine (across the bay from Nova Scotia) recently, I felt the urge to read it again. I'm glad I did. It's much easier to read than I remember (I'm sure that's because I was so young when I did) and besides being a satisfying story of undying, tragic love, it's full of wonderful descriptions of several, vastly different areas of...more
Addie
I spent almost the entire time reading this wanting to throw it across the room. First because I was frustrated with the style and then because of the actual plot.

I quickly got tired of hearing how fair a maid Evangeline was and how Gabriel was the noblest of all the youths. We get it: they're gorgeous people who're destined to be together. Except...

Cruel Fate has torn them apart. Yeah, that's depressing. Really frustratingly depressing. But this only worked to make me angry, not sympathetic. Th...more
Matthew Hunter
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,/ Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,/ Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,/ Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their blossoms.


Longfellow writes beautifully. With illustrations selected from earlier editions of the epic poem, this collector's edition of Evangeline makes for a pleasant easy read.

Some have criticized Longfellow for a lack of depth to his poetry. I...more
Leigh
I still remember taking this out from the library in the sixth grade and reading it when I stayed home sick from school with a cold. My mother walks into my room and finds me just sobbing over the ending of this poem, absolutely devasted and in love with the story. Twelve years later, it still has my heart.
Valerie
This book was required reading in Louisiana schools, but, though I was enchanted by the prelude, I admit to having given it scant attention at the time.

I'm familiar with the backstory (the origin of the Cajuns) of course. I'll read this edition, with careful attention to the critical information, in hopes of remembering the particular story this time. Here goes...

The glossary was quite useful. I've heard the word 'thole' before, for example, but never remembered to look it up. Some words are too...more
Jean
Little did I know when I picked this book off the shelf to read that I (as Longfellow did) would become fascinated by the history of the Acadian people through his beautifully written and heart-breaking poem of Evangeline & Gabriel. The Acadians of Nova Scotia were a peaceful, hard-working, law-abiding people (their ways/views reminded me a little of the Amish culture) but when France ceded Acadia to England, the English attempted to make the Acadians loyal to the king. When they refused (be...more
Scot Quaranda
I read this while staying in an Acadian village in Cape Breton, and earlier in my trip I had visited Grand Pre, where the story begins, so I felt grounded in the story so I could try and really feel it. Throughout the trip I had seen references to it, and thought it was some silly tourist trap, but honestly I enjoyed the story as tragically cheesy as it was because I better understood the heart of the people and the tragedy that occurred throughout the Maritimes as the British drove the original...more
Ann
Utterly beautiful. Longfellow was a genius wordsmith. "Evangeline" is a story of loss and devotion. It is one of the most beautiful depictions of faithfulness in all of literature.

"Evangeline" recounts the expulsion by the British of the Acadian people from Acadie (Nova Scotia/New Brunswick). The young, beautiful, virtuous Evangeline is to wed the blacksmith's son, Gabriel, but the soldiers arrive to drive them from their homeland. The Acadians are thrown onto boats, and in the confusion, Evang...more
Judy
I cannot find the exact edition of my book here on GR, but this is the closest. My volume contains the following poems:

-Hymn to the night
-Burial of the Minnisink
-The Skeleton in Armor
-The Wreck of the Hesperus
-The Village Blacksmith
-The Witness
-The Belfry of Bruges
-The Day is Done
-The Old Clock on the Stairs
-Evangeline
-The Building of the Ship
-Tegner's Drapa
-fromThe Song of Hiawatha
-The Celestial Pilot
-The Bells of Lynn
-Sandalphon
-Vittoria Colonna
-Helen of Tyre
-The Warden of Cinque Ports
-Haunted...more
John
This is worthwhile not only as poetry (albeit very old fashioned poetry) but also as a cultural study. It is really interesting to know that this was a massively enormous hit in the mid-nineteenth century, and to think about that while reading. Because it is SOOOOO romantic. I don't mean lovey dovey romantic (though it is that) but rather romantic in that overly dramatic emotional literary sense. In this poem, the Acadians were not just pleasant farmers, but clearly the kindest, gentlest, and mo...more
Gabriel Oak
Longfellow is undergoing something of a renaissance in recent years among scholars, and I have to say that it's not hard to see why. Not only is this just a lovely poem and really fun narrative, but it has such as fascinating historical and cultural context. In its day, Longfellow's 1847 poem about a group of French Canadian settlers unjustly forced from their lands by a tyrannical British government was widely recognized as anti-Mexican-American War tract.
J
I picked this little book up in Nova Scotia, where the story of Evangeline begins, and read it on my way back to Philadelphia, where it ends. It's the tale of the ill fated romance of Evangeline and Gabriel. It’s also the tale of the Acadians, exiled by the British in the 1750s. It’s not passionate, but there is a tenderness and a quiet beauty here that perhaps better describe faithfulness and devotion over time.

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss
...more
Jane G Meyer
I first read this poem in a translated French--then English-- back in the 80's while I was studying the immigration of the French Acadians to Louisiana... It was powerful then, and is just as powerful now. It's a love story--and the story of an entire nation, captured in the stanzas of Longfellow.

Madeleine and I read this as part of her history studies. We traded reading, and though it's not really a children's story by any means, she was just as overcome with the love and adventure as I was...

I...more
David
"Other hope had she none, nor wish in life, but to follow
Meekly, with reverent steps, the sacred feet of her Saviour."
Patricia
One wouldn't be a true Nova Scotianer if one didn't read this brilliant poem. Being from Nova Scotia, I'm very proud of my roots as are all Nova Scotianers. This poem told the tale of two lovers separated from the expulsion taken place during the English/French war, the horrors and the sorrow. Reading this poem, you picture the genocide taking place. To visit Nova Scotia and its historical sites is like stepping back in time. Every historical site in Nova Scotia are so well preserved. Visiting t...more
Clayton Brannon
Everyone of every age should read this wonderful epic poem.
Paul
I dont like poetry all that much.
I didn't like the way this book's story was told all that much.
Also, the type used was of such crappy quality (think photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy...) that it sometimes made it difficult to read.

But it was a very good story. That it talks about my acadian ancestors was also a bonus. That it was written by one of the "english" enemy does not make it any less sad and hopefull all at the same time.

Vive les acadiens, n'oublions jamais!
Angela
Apparently this epic poem was hugely influential in the development of Cajun cultural identity, which is why I picked it up. Unfortunately, it's actually really boring. The Homeric epic style doesn't really fit the subject matter (the resettlement of the Acadian French in Louisiana) and comes off as rather pretentious. Also, the soppy heroine is dull, sentimentally pious, and irritating. Common enough of 19th century heroines, I guess, but one of the reasons I'm glad we've moved on.
Kay Pelham
That'n made me cry, Pa
Amit
heart breaking, historical poem/love story. this poem (100 pages long) is mostly a historically-based account of how the Acadians (French Canadians) in Nova Scotia were deprived of their land and homes and forcibly removed by the British (pre-1776) despite a peace treaty and how subsequently settled in Louisiana leading to the French influence in New Orleans.

makes you want to go to Nova Scotia, Maince, etc as if there wasnt already enough reason.
Jesse Hebert
Some beautiful passages here. Rose-colored glasses, to be sure ... but why the hell not? This is about a people displaced from the perfection that is HOME, a transcendent concept in Longfellow's sense. If we can't consider that idea some small slice of heaven, what worth is the striving to attain such a state once it has been taken from us?

In regards to my ancestors, I'm compelled to do, act, or at least attempt. Something, anything.
Melissa
In 1713, the crown of England took control of Acadia (Nova Scotia) and shipped thousands of French settlers to other lands including the most famous: Louisiana where they are known as Cajuns. This poem (a VERY long one at that) tells the story of young Evangeline, after being driven from her homeland, is in search of her long lost fiance, Gabriel. It's quite a unique love story.... I read this in school for literature.
Katherine
Jul 08, 2013 Katherine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 8 and up
So sweet.
It reads like a fairytale, but contains language and references a bit too antiquated for younger readers, who would naturally be the audience I would choose for this. I'd say if you don't like a good love story and you have a thing against fairytales, this is probably not the poem for you.
It is lovely, though. And a quick read; make mincemeat of it in an hour or so. I will definitely read it again.
Jennifer
The saddest, most beautiful poem ever. My 4th and 5th graders loved it and hoped and grieved with her.
Betty
Sep 17, 2010 Betty rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Longfellow was a great poet who's outstanding literary style is amplified in this short piece. An easy read with something for everyone to appreciate. A classic tale of humanity: the expulsion of a group of people from their homeland because they don't share the beliefs of others. This piece of historical fiction, a tragic love story, is lives up to the praise it's received over the years.
Twyla
It is what it is. The foreward/introduction is terrible. It is longer than the storey and full of pompous dictionary-only words that no one would ever use in real life.
The story is very descriptive; the characters shallow and charicatures of themselves.
Yeah not much to say about it other than some people ought to learn to give up. Hope is a useless wasted thing. There is no love.
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Poetry Readers Ch...: Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 2 12 Feb 05, 2014 12:38PM  
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  • Work: A Story of Experience
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  • The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
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  • The Outcasts of Poker Flat
  • A Boy's Will
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  • Penrod
  • The Heart of Mid-Lothian
  • A Shropshire Lad
  • The Poems of Robert Browning
  • The Poems of François Villon
  • The Oregon Trail
  • Gabrielle (Le goût du bonheur, #1)
  • New Arabian Nights
  • Aurora Leigh
  • The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks
2697
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and "Evangeline". He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy and was one of the five members of the group known as the Fireside Poets.

Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine and studied at Bowdoin College. After spending time in Europe he became a prof...more
More about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow...
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere The Song of Hiawatha Favorite Poems Poems and Other Writings (Library of America #118) The Complete Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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“Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.”
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“Still stands the forest primeval; but far away from its shadow,
Side by side, in their nameless graves, the lovers are sleeping.
Under the humble walls of the little catholic churchyard,
In the heart of the city, they lie, unknown and unnoticed;
Daily the tides of life go ebbing and flowing beside them,
Thousands of throbbing hearts, where theirs are at rest and forever,
Thousands of aching brains, where theirs no longer are busy,
Thousands of toiling hands, where theirs have ceased from their labors,
Thousands of weary feet, where theirs have completed their journey!”
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