Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Synopsis

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere....

So begins Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's stirring tale of Paul Revere's ride and the first battle cry for American independence. Written over a century ago, the words still resonate today.

Now acclaimed artist Charles Santore has turned his attention to this historic event, immortalized in Longfellow's poem. Paul Revere, his horse, the Old North Church, the lantern, Lexington and Concord -- all spring from these pages, and make that famous race against time live once again.

 

About Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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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). Ted Rand, illustrator of Mailing May and Don't Forget.
 
Published July 9, 2012 by AP Publishing House. 32 pages
Genres: History, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife, Education & Reference, Westerns. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Paul Revere's Ride

Kirkus Reviews

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The clatter of hooves seems to echo in Rand's evocative paintings of that famed midnight ride; his realistic moonlit nightscapes are charged with the events foreshadowed by the poem.

Sep 01 1990 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Kirkus Reviews

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The midnight message of Paul Revere is intoned here against a chalky gray sky, and the drama of its dissemination to every Middlesex village and farm is acted out by wittily sketched figures whose wry informality is no doubt intended to make Longfellow's melodrama less forbidding to the picture b...

Nov 01 1973 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

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Longfellow's famous narrative poem gains a renewed sense of foreboding and urgency thanks to Thompson's stark and somber illustrations.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Kirkus Reviews

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Longfellow’s famous narrative poem gains a renewed sense of foreboding and urgency thanks to Thompson’s stark and somber illustrations.

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Kirkus Reviews

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The poem itself can be stuffily old-fashioned in syntax and occasionally its rhyme scheme mires down, but the illustrations, which capture both the movements of the British and the desperate stealth of Revere and his friend, help to carry the reader along.

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Kirkus Reviews

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An extraordinarily beautiful piece of bookmaking attempts to breathe new life into one of American literature's hoariest classics.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Kirkus Reviews

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Longfellow's famous narrative poem gains a renewed sense of foreboding and urgency thanks to Thompson's stark and somber illustrations.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Kirkus Reviews

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Longfellow's familiar verse comes to splendid life in dynamic paintings.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Publishers Weekly

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Bing (Casey at the Bat) once again brings his love of history and attention to detail to bear in Longfellow's classic poem. Even before the famous opening lin

Oct 29 2001 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Publishers Weekly

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Fusing scratchboard drawings and computer technology, first-time children's book illustrator Thompson creates a series of ruggedly sleek illustrations for Longfellow's classic poem. From the stirring

Apr 03 2000 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Publishers Weekly

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For Paul Revere's Ride: The Landlord's Tale by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Santore assumes the perspective of the narrator's friend. For Listen, my children, and you shall hear/ Of th

Mar 01 2003 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Publishers Weekly

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Longfellow's well-known poem never appeared to better advantage: Rand has created a rich rendition of the Revolutionary landscape. And Revere himself is the perfect patriot, rugged and intense as he s

Aug 29 1990 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Publishers Weekly

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Longfellow's well-known poem never appeared to better advantage, said PW, noting that Rand has created a rich rendition of the Revolutionary landscape. A Spanish-language reprint will be issue

Mar 04 1996 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Publishers Weekly

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Later, his approach results in a climactic view of the harbor as the British boats begin to cross the Charles River under a full moon: readers see just the outline of the North Church's steeple and the river stretching before them, as if they are in the position of lighting the two lanterns--the ...

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Publishers Weekly

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If a few of the spreads are difficult to distinguish (e.g., "The shadowy something far away,/ Where the river widens to meet the bay" that triggers the lamplighter's signal cannot be deciphered, for instance, and it is hard to tell that there's a "second lamp in the belfry"), aspiring historians ...

| Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Publishers Weekly

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Later, his approach results in a climactic view of the harbor as the British boats begin to cross the Charles River under a full moon: readers see just the outline of the North Church's steeple and the river stretching before them, as if they are in the position of lighting the two lanterns--the ...

| Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Publishers Weekly

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If a few of the spreads are difficult to distinguish (e.g., "The shadowy something far away,/ Where the river widens to meet the bay" that triggers the lamplighter's signal cannot be deciphered, for instance, and it is hard to tell that there's a "second lamp in the belfry"), aspiring historians ...

| Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Publishers Weekly

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For Paul Revere's Ride: The Landlord's Tale by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Santore assumes the perspective of the narrator's ""friend."" For ""Listen, my children, and you shall hear/ Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,"" an elderly, dapper gentleman leans forward in front of a fire ...

| Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

Publishers Weekly

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Longfellow's well-known poem never appeared to better advantage, said PW, noting that Rand has created a rich rendition of the Revolutionary landscape. A Spanish-language reprint will be issue

Mar 04 1996 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

National Review Online

A Boston newspaper published “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 150 years ago today.

Dec 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Paul Revere's Ride

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