Evangeline is the soulful story of young lovers separated during the deportation of Acadians from their homeland in 1755.
It is, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “…the best illustration of faithfulness and the constancy of woman…” as Evangeline spends her life searching for Gabriel who has remained faithful to her. In the end, they are reunited in a poorhouse where they have a moment of spiritual healing before he dies in her arms.
Evangeline is a story of survival – the survival of a people who faced rejection, homelessness, hunger, and other adversities wherever they were disembarked in the American colonies.
Evangeline was read all over the world and became a mirror for the displaced Acadians to recognize themselves and reunite as a nation – a nation without borders, a people without a homeland.
Evangeline was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s first and most popular epic poem. It is written in non-rhyming hexameter, which reads like prose. Layne Longfellow, a descendant of Henry’s cousin, Michael, reads the poem with a voice from deep in his soul, allowing the hexameter to “soar and sink at will, now grazing the ground in its long sweep, now losing itself in the clouds,” as Henry described.