Read Tales of a Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Online


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, Tales1872. 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 of a Wayside Inn. He based his works on a group of fictitious characters that regularly gathered at the old Sudbury tavern. Lyman Howe was the character featured in The Landlord's Tale, and where Longfellow penned the immortal phrase listen my children and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing....

Title : Tales of a Wayside Inn
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781402179044
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 237 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Tales of a Wayside Inn Reviews

  • Eyebright
    2019-04-19 20:37

    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.

  • Christina
    2019-03-26 15:17

    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 in verse owes much to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Boccaccio's Decameron. At least one story I recognize from the latter. The narrators are also well-wrought and engaging, and Longfellow's verse is smooth as glass, yet varies in pattern from tale to tale. Often, you can hear them as actual songs, each different from the next. Perhaps that's why the rhyming doesn't pall. I can't guarantee everyone will come away quite charmed as I was, but, if you're a fan of rhymed poetry, Chaucer or Boccaccio, you might give it a try.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-28 19:26

    I'm not normally big on poetry but I absolutely loved this! Between the eloquent rhyming and the imagery, Longfellow breathed life into each tale and the tellers of those tales. Highly recommended for poetry lovers and novices alike!

  • Stephanie Ricker
    2019-04-08 21:21

    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.

  • Mac
    2019-04-08 19:28

    After finishing "Evangeline," I looked over a list of Longfellow's works to see what I should read next. The answer was clear! My in-laws have a tradition of going to the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts, for special dinners. I've gotten to go there with them once myself. So there was no question I had to read "Tales of a Wayside Inn," set at that very establishment!Longfellow uses a similar format to the Canterbury Tales or Decameron. There is a gathering of guests at the Wayside Inn, and each tells a story before retiring for bed. Each tale takes its own form, letting Longfellow try various meters and rhyme schemes. The first tale was none other than "Paul Revere's Ride." Others are set in Italy, Spain, and Norway. Some are very short, while the Saga of King Olaf is in 22 parts. At the end of the book, there are a few short poems that seemed otherwise unrelated to the main part. These didn't grab me as much as the tales. Next up in my survey of Longfellow is "The Song of Hiawatha."

  • Jeremy Rios
    2019-04-10 19:12

    Wonderful little book of poetry. Longfellow has a knack for rhythm in the English language which is unmatched. The narrative poems of the Wayside were each fun to read, told a good story, and are worth re-reading. Highly recommended. (Note: I've struggled with poetry before--I can't stand free verse, and I think most modern poetry is rubbish. This book by Longfellow reminded me of why poetry should be fun. Maybe some people will hate it for that reason. They can have the modern poets. I don't want 'em.)

  • Lib DM
    2019-04-13 13:27

    Great premise. Characters with different backgrounds and cultures come together over a fire to share tales. So are great (The Saga of King Olaf), and some are light and simple. As a group I give it a 3, but just grab the ones you like and enjoy

  • Bruce
    2019-04-19 21:10

    Beautifully written. I don't understand why we didn't read more Longfellow when I was in high school!

  • Gary
    2019-04-21 14:35

    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 original home and furnishing until it was given to the National Park Service. I was so pleased with my visit that I purchased a copy of Tales of a Wayside Inn.This long narrative poem is a frame story. Several acqaintances are spending the night at the Red Horse Inn in Sudbury, MA (now renamed "Longfellow's Wayside Inn"). These include the Landlord, the Poet, the Sicilian, the Theologian, The Musician (a Norwegian), a Spanish Jew, and a Student. Each of these characters takes turns telling a story. The debt to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is obvious. In fact, Longfellow first wanted to call this collection "The Sudbury Tales." The most famous poem here is "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," told by the Landlord. The rest are a miscellany of stories from a wide range of sources. Because of my interest in Scandinavia, I was interested "The Saga of King Olaf" (told by the Musician). And I was particularly struck by "The Birds of Killingworth," which has a strong environmental message and foreshadows Rachel Carson's *A Silent Spring.*Longfellow contributed the phrase "two ships that pass in the night" to the English language. It comes from these poignant lines from the tale "Elizabeth": "Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing/Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;/So on the Ocean of life we pass and speak one another,/Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence."

  • Tom Lowe
    2019-04-25 13:24

    Similar to The Canterbury Tales in its setting and style, Tales of a Wayside Inn by Longfellow is a cool little book. A group of travelers and bar patrons take turns and tell their favorite tales. My favorite was the charming Student's Tale, that had an ironic twist, while the Musician's Tale was a bit too long and tedious. Overall, the group of various tales was a real treat. Longfellow is entertaining, and his writing style is so smooth and pleasant, like taking a long, easy walk through a bird-filled woods on a warm spring day.

  • WT Sharpe
    2019-03-27 17:18

    Although the description of this book says that "Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts, originally known as Howe's Tavern, , was the inspiration for Longfellow's widely read book of poems", I this it more accurate to say that Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales was the inspiration and that the Wayside Inn was his backdrop. Interest, and worth more than one encounter. Read as an audiobook.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-12 16:25

    You will recognize the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, but there are many lesser-known gems in this volume. The setting and the characters who meet at the Inn (a real place in Massachusetts) are vividly drawn and compelling on their own. Some of the language can be a bit of a slog, and there are a couple of disturbing or melancholy tales if you are sensitive, but the Inn is well worth a visit.

  • Sugar
    2019-04-09 16:24

    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.

  • Christopher
    2019-03-31 17:30

    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."

  • Lexi (Pink Jellyfish)
    2019-04-07 17:26

    "I have you fast in my fortress,And will not let you depart,But put you down into the dungeonIn the round-tower of my heart.And there will I keep you forever,Yes, forever and a day,Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,And moulder in dust away!"

  • Matthew
    2019-04-16 20:34

    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.

  • Longfat
    2019-04-11 17:33


  • sheldon Overlock
    2019-04-17 13:16

    BeautifulSuch a excellent piece. Longfellow is a masterful writer, and this edition does nothing to take away from that. Please read

  • Susan Fetterer
    2019-04-23 21:32

    Had to read this collection after visiting the inn.......connecting the real place with the literature is a wonderful experience.

  • Mmmjay
    2019-04-21 20:34

    Published in 1890

  • Courtney Burns
    2019-04-07 21:26

    Some really excellent tales (some middling tales as well), but the one on King Olaf nearly did me in. Love his other works better.

  • Patricia
    2019-04-10 13:26

    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.

  • Joy Wells
    2019-03-30 15:36

    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.

  • Leah
    2019-03-29 18:29

    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.