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The Courtship of Miles Standish, Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

Author    Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

Title   The Courtship of Miles Standish

Binding   Small Hard Cover

Book Condition   Near Fine

Jacket Condition   No Jacket

Publisher    M.A. Donohue & Co.

Seller ID   2204998

No jacket, no publisher date (circa early 1900s), spine toned. We have more books available by this author!. 224 pp. The Courtship of Miles Standish is an 1858 narrative poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about the early days of Plymouth Colony, the colonial settlement established in America by the Mayflower Pilgrims. Set against the backdrop of a fierce Indian war, the tale focuses on a love-triangle between three Pilgrims, Miles Standish,Priscilla Mullens, and John Alden. Longfellow claimed the story was true, but the historical evidence is inconclusive. Nevertheless, the ballad was very popular in nineteenth-century America, immortalizing the Mayflower Pilgrims. A recent adaptation is The Romance of Pilgrims: A Great American Love-Story, which retells Longfellow's epic poem in modern English. The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858) was a literary counterpoint to Henry Longfellow's earlier Evangeline (1847), the tragic tale of a woman whose lover disappears in a colonial war. Together, Evangeline and The Courtship of Miles Standish captured the bittersweet quality of America's colonial era, then only recently past. However, the plot of The Courtship of Miles Standish deliberately varies in emotional tone, unlike the steady tragedy of Longfellow's Evangeline. The Pilgrims grimly battle against disease and Indians, but are also obsessed with an eccentric love-triangle, creating a curious mix of drama and comedy. Two bumbling, feuding roommates, Miles Standish and John Alden, vie for the affections of the beautiful Priscilla Mullins, who slyly tweaks the noses of her undiplomatic suitors. The independent-minded woman utters one of the most famous retorts ever. The saga has a surprise ending, one full of optimism for the American future. A debate persists as to whether the tale is fact or fiction. The main characters, Miles Standish, John Alden, and Priscilla Mullins, have names of real-life Pilgrims. Henry Longfellow claimed to be a direct descendant, and that he was relating oral history. Skeptics dismiss his saga as a folktale. No conclusive evidence exists either way. At minimum, Longfellow used poetic license, condensing several years of events. Scholars though, recently confirmed the cherished place of romantic love in Pilgrim culture, and documented the Indian war described by Longfellow. Circumstantial evidence of the love-triangle also exists. Miles Standish and John Alden were likely roommates; Priscilla Mullins was the only single woman of marriageable age. The families of the alleged lovers remained close for several generations, moving together to Duxbury, Massachusetts, in the late 1620's. Descendants still retell the love-triangle of their ancestors. However, the text of the Courtship of Miles Standish is now very difficult for modern readers. Longfellow wrote in an obscure poetic meter, Greek hexameter, and used medieval vocabulary. A recent adaptation, The Romance of Pilgrims: A Great American Love-Story, retells the epic poem in modern English. The revival includes restored engravings from Longfellow editions of the 19th and early 20th centuries. -- Wikipedia

Price = 10.00 USD


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