This article summarizes some of the deep background information I studied when researching Bayou Fire. Enjoy!

History Imagined: For Readers, Writers, & Lovers of Historical Fiction


THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms……

Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman’s devotion,
List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest;
List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Boston: Ticknor & Company, 1847


The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was so enthralled with the story of Louisiana’s Acadian people that he penned his epic poem Evangeline, a story of exile, loss, and enduring love. It was an instant hit in 1847 due in large part to its imminently sympathetic main character.

There is a longstanding argument as to whether Evangeline, “a maiden of seventeen summers” at the…

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