This is the first English-language monograph on the poem Kalevipoeg, known today as the Estonian national epic. The epic was not a success story from the beginning, however. It took at least one generation before the text was received by the emerging Estonian intellectual class. In the meantime the text was received abroad more intensively than at home. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries it is the most prolific text within Estonian literature, leaving its traces everywhere in Estonian literature and every day life.