Cover image for Evangeline : a tale of Acadie
Evangeline : a tale of Acadie
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882.
Physical Description:
118 pages ; 23 cm
Longfellow's Evangeline comes from a true story. The tale of young Emmeline Labiche and the true love of her life, Louis Arceneaux. The pair were separated when the British invaded Nova Scotia in 1755, and Louis (Gabriel in the poem) was forced on a ship and set out to sea. Orphaned, Emmeline was adopted by the family of the Widow Borda, who regarded her as not of this earth, but rather as their guardian angel, and this is why they called her no longer Emmeline, but Evangeline, or God's little angel. The family was exiled to Maryland, but Maryland was no home for them; and eventually the family joined other Acadians in Louisiana. In Louisiana, Evangeline began to search for Louis.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS2263 .A1 2000Z Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The poem follows an Acadian girl named Evangeline and her search for her lost love Gabriel, set during the time of the Expulsion of the Acadians. The idea for the poem came from Longfellow's friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne. Longfellow used dactylic hexameter, imitating Greek and Latin classics, though the choice was criticized. It became Longfellow's most famous work in his lifetime and remains one of his most popular and enduring works.

Author Notes

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).

(Bowker Author Biography)



Evangeline is the epic tale of one woman's search for her lost love. In the tumult of the Acadian expulsion from Canada, Evangeline Bellefontaine is separated from her beloved Gabriel Lajeunesse. As she journeys across the United States, she anxiously tries to find a trace of Lajeunesse, without success. Years go by and Evangeline despairs of ever seeing her love's face again. But when all hope seems gone, The couple is given one final chance to reunite... One of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's most famous long poems, Evangeline is a hauntingly beautiful tribute To The endurance of love. Excerpted from Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.