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Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie

Boston: William D. Ticknor & Company, 1847

4pp. ads at front dated 1 October 1847. Original boards, printed paper spine label. Joints cracked but secure, foot of spine chipped. An excellent copy, especially rare in original condition. Half morocco case.

First edition, first state. This is an excellent copy of the rare first issue of Longfellow’s romance of the expulsion of the Acadians by the British during the French and Indian War. The idea for the poem came from Nathaniel Hawthorne, who had heard a story about tragic Acadian lovers. Longfellow did meticulous research on the historical setting of the poem, which paid off, literally—it earned him record royalty payments.

The earliest printed copies have Long on p. 61, line 1; “examination indicates that during the run of the first printing the reading became Lo…, due to an unknown, accidental, cause” (BAL). This is a particularly rare issue of an already rare book in original condition.

“It was not only Longfellow’s first long poem, but the first long poem by an American to live beyond its own time” (ANB).

BAL 12089. Grolier 100 English Books 84.