Revere and Longfellow

Revere and Longfellow
William M. Fowler, Jr.
Professor of History, Northeastern University
April 5, 2013

“Listen my children and you shall hear.” With those lines, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow began his epic poem about Paul Revere’s ride on the night of April 18, 1775. When it was first published in 1861, the poem was an immediate sensation, and it has remained in Americans’ popular memory of the Revolution ever since. Many people believe that the poem is an accurate recounting of an iconic event of the American Revolution. Longfellow was a poet, however, not an historian, and he took some liberties. Professor Fowler describes the events of Paul Revere’s ride and the ways Longfellow portrayed it more than seventy-five years later.

Part 1 of 6: The Old North Church and the Sons of Liberty (8:19)

Part 2 of 6: North Bridge and the Battle of Concord (7:57)

Part 3 of 6: Emerson’s Concord Hymn: “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” (2:20)

Part 4 of 6: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (5:16)

Part 5 of 6: Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” (5:53)

Part 6 of 6: Historical Inaccuracies of Longfellow’s Poem (2:34)


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