Full of Books

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes Review

Title: The Highwayman

Author: Alfred Noyes

First published January 1, 1906

32 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780192723703 (ISBN10: 0192723707)

Rating: 4.27


“Ride along with the Highwayman as he gallops through the moors on a winter’s night, when the wind whistles through the trees and the moon casts an eerie glow. Alfred Noyes’ gripping poem takes you on a journey of love and tragedy, as the Highwayman and his beloved Bess face a terrible fate.

The stunning illustrations, which were ahead of their time, have been beautifully rescanned to capture every detail in this new edition. Experience the drama and tension of this timeless classic, as you delve into the pages of The Highwayman.”

About the Author

Alfred Noyes came from a family of educators. His father taught Latin and Greek in Aberystwyth, Wales, where he grew up.

In 1898, Noyes attended Exeter College in Oxford, but he didn’t graduate. However, he did publish his first collection of poetry, The Loom of Years, in 1902.

Over the next few years, Noyes published five volumes of poetry, including two well-known works, The Highwayman and Drake. His books were widely reviewed and published in both Britain and the United States.

Drake, a two-hundred page epic about life at sea, was published serially in Blackwood’s Magazine.

In 1907, Noyes married Garnett Daniels, and they had three children. The success of his poetry allowed the family to live off royalty cheques.

In 1914, Noyes became a teacher of English Literature at Princeton University, where he worked until 1923. He was an outspoken critic of modernist writers, particularly James Joyce, and his own work was also criticized for not embracing the modernist movement.

Editoral Review

Alfred Noyes’ The Highwayman, published in 1906, is a literary masterpiece that has stood the test of time. Noyes was a British poet, and his narrative poem tells a tragic love story set against the backdrop of the 18th century in England.

The book reveals an atmospheric, melancholic, and romantic tone, while the plot is packed with suspense, action, and emotion. The Highwayman is a unique blend of poetry and prose, employing vivid imagery and poetic language to portray the characters, setting, and conflicts.

The story revolves around Bess, an innkeeper’s daughter, and the highwayman, a rogue and outlaw who falls in love with her. The plot takes place in rural England, with the highwayman galloping into the inn’s courtyard on his black stallion to meet his lover.

However, the affair is complicated by the fact that Bess’s father serves as an informant to the authorities, and he betrays the highwayman, leading to a tragic end. The book has historical and cultural significance.

The highwayman embodies the romanticized outlaw, a figure that has been a staple in literature for centuries. Moreover, the themes of love, betrayal, and tragedy resonate through time, tapping into universal human emotions that people can relate to even today.

Noyes’s writing style masterfully evokes the reader’s imagination, leading to a cinematic experience in the mind’s eye. His use of poetic devices such as repetition, alliteration, and metaphors creates a rich and captivating narrative.

Noyes’s characterization of the highwayman, Bess, and her father is skillful, resulting in fleshed-out personalities that the reader can empathize with. The pacing of the story is well-balanced, building up to a dramatic climax while never losing the readers’ engagement.

While the book may seem outdated to contemporary readers in terms of language and style, its themes remain relevant. The Highwayman is a tale of forbidden love and desperation, leading characters to take irrational actions, a cautionary tale that reminds us of the value of empathy and communication.

Noyes’s works, including The Highwayman, has influenced literature and Romanticism, and can still serve as an example of well-crafted storytelling. Overall, The Highwayman is an excellent piece of literature that anyone could appreciate.

I highly recommend this book to poetry enthusiasts, Romance fans, and anyone who wants to read a story of love and sacrifice. On a scale of 1 – 10, I give it a solid nine for its vivid imagery, poetic language, and masterful storytelling.

Alfred Noyes’ The Highwayman is a classic that deserves to be read and remembered by generations to come.

Popular Books