Tales of a Wayside Inn – A Very Brief Review

John Phelan / CC BY

Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863) – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The frame story (itself a poem) takes place at a “wayside inn,” where travellers of different backgrounds swap legends through poems and song. The pieces range in setting and mood, from medieval times to what would have been Longfellow’s modern day. Romance, moral tales, and tragedies make up the main subject matter, with my favorites perhaps being the two ghost stories: “The Mother’s Ghost” and “The Ballad of Camilhan.”

I really enjoyed some of the poems (including Paul Revere’s Ride), while others not as much. Overall, it’s a good representation of Longfellow’s poetry and the Protestant culture of his day. As an introduction to his work, I’d probably recommend another collection instead, such as The Seaside and the Fireside.


  1. I have read a very limited amount of Longfellow. I need to devote some time to a proper collection. Thanks for the recommendations. I will probably eventually delve into The Seaside and the Fireside at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

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