Longfellow descendent to read famous poem at Zionsville’s Black Dog Books


By Anna Skinner

Elinor Williams will read “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” on July 2 at Black Dog Books. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

Elinor Williams will read “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” on July 2 at Black Dog Books. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

Henry Waldsworth Longfellow is well-known for his poetry, especially “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.” His great, great granddaughter, Elinor Williams of Indianapolis, will read the iconic poem from 10 a.m. to noon July 2 at Black Dog Books, 115 S. Main St.

Williams will read the piece every 30 minutes for a total of four times.

“Black Dog Books was found through a friend of mine, and he brought me here and said I should check it out,” Williams said. “I’d really like to do a reading and get known at more bookstores. I think it’s important for people to be educated about (Longfellow’s) poetry.”

With the reading being on the Fourth of July weekend, Williams said she hopes people will stop in Black Dog Books to listen to the poetry to celebrate the nation’s birthday.

“I like the way (Longfellow) writes, especially in ‘Paul Revere,’” Williams said. “I can feel that fear he’s describing … You can just feel his fear that something will happen that night. I think it’s good for all ages. I think adults can understand the fear aspect in a different way than the children and what it’s like to be fighting for independence in a different country.”

A bookmark with Longfellow’s photo and some facts will be given to those who attend the reading. The reading is free, and copies of “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” will be for sale.

“We did a reading last year but didn’t publicize it as much,” said Tania Roudebush, owner of Black Dog Books. “We have a direct connection here, a living relative of Longfellow reading one of the most important poems in U.S. history on Fourth of July weekend.”

For more, visit blackdogbooksin.com.


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