Tales of a Wayside Inn
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Tales of a Wayside Inn

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  15 reviews
1872. Probably the best loved of American poets the world over is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; he is loved for his gift of easy rhyme written with a natural grace and melody centered around themes with universal appeal. Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts, originally known as Howe's Tavern, was the inspiration for Longfellow's widely read book of poems, Tales...more
Paperback, 237 pages
Published December 28th 2006 by Adamant Media Corporation (first published 1863)
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Tales of a Wayside Inn is pretty much just a collection of Henry Wadsworth Longfellows' poems, put together in story (or poem, if you want to be technical) format. For the most part I enjoyed it, but for me, the Saga of King Olaf, one of the poems, was a little slow. I couldn't keep up with what was going on.

Anyway, it definately inspired me to read more poetry, although, finding someone else who writes poetry like Longfellow, might be difficult.
An unexpected pleasure! It's been forty or fifty years, since I last read Longfellow, the most celebrated American poet of his time now much neglected, and at least two decades since I abandoned the rhymed poetry camp for a freestyle poetry preference, so I did not expect to enjoy my long immersion in "the well-made poem" quite so much. Astonishingly, I did, very much so.

Perhaps it's long immersion that makes the difference, but the stories are engaging, as well. This miniature cycle of tales i...more
Oct 11, 2009 Gary added it
I trying to fill some holes in my reading of American literature. When I was in Boston recently, I visited the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow National Historic Site in Cambridge. This house served as George Washington's headquarters during the siege of Boston (although I am told that there are buildings scattered throughout the region that claim to have served as Washington's HQ). But it is most famous as the residence of Longfellow and his family. Remarkably, the family preserved all of the origina...more
I started reading this book in the mid-1990s. My favorite poem at the time was -perhaps the most famous - "Ride of Paul Revere." However, over the years I have re-read it a few times and come to appreciate the other tales. Today, Longfellow seems to be a nearly forgotten name on the whole, and perhaps as cliche as Poe in literary circles. Hopefully, he'll come back in style soon.
A modern "Canterbury Tales" fit for American tastes, complete with "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." Contains also "The Saga of King Olaf," (Theodore Roosevelt's favorite poem) the longest section of the book and the least enjoyable to me. But the book is worth reading if only for "The Spanish Jew's Tale: The Legend of Rabbi Ben Levi."
I found some tales to be fantastic and some to be dreadfully boring. This is by no means a criticism of Longfellow's writing, however. My distaste for some of it is merely a result of my personal preference in subject matter. The more mythical tales simply did not particularly interest me.
Jan 28, 2008 Jocelyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of the Romantics
Shelves: fiction, poetry
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow takes simple stories and tells them with lyrical and beautiful poetry. It takes a great piece of writing for me to enjoy poetry, but I found this small book wonderful.
I picked this up when I stayed at the historic Wayside Inn and enjoyed reading about the "stairways worn, and crazy doors, and creaking and uneven floors" while I walked on the same.
Stephanie Ricker
I smuggled this tiny book of Longfellow's poetry (that I found and was saving for just such a time) into my graduation ceremony. It was a very, very long ceremony.
Joy Wells
Reads like Chaucer for Americans. Makes me want to memorize and recite. Make sure you read the last tale, Birds of Killingsworth. Imagine a world without birds.
I hope (someday) to make a little stay at the Wayside Inn, in Sudbury, Mass., and while there, read Tales of a Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Courtney Burns
Some really excellent tales (some middling tales as well), but the one on King Olaf nearly did me in. Love his other works better.
Susan Fetterer
Had to read this collection after visiting the inn.......connecting the real place with the literature is a wonderful experience.
Everyone should read "Paul Revere's Ride" at least!
Published in 1890
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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 Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie Favorite Poems Poems and Other Writings (Library of America #118)

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