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A Biography of Sidney Lanier by Edwin Mims
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Sidney Lanier

by Edwin Mims




Preface



The present volume is a biography of Lanier rather than a critical study
of his work. So far as possible, I have told the story in his own words,
or in the words of those who knew him most intimately. If I have erred
in placing undue emphasis on the early part of his career, it was intentional,
for that is the part of his life about which least is known.
I have intentionally emphasized his relation to the South, in order to avoid
a misconception that he was a detached figure. The bibliographies prepared
by Mr. Wills for the "Southern History Association" and by Mr. Callaway
for his "Select Poems of Lanier" make one unnecessary for this volume.

Of previously published material, I have been greatly indebted
to the Memorial by Mr. William Hayes Ward, the fuller sketch
by the late Professor W. M. Baskervill, and the volume of letters published
by Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons. For new material, I am indebted,
first of all, to Mrs. Sidney Lanier, who has put me in possession,
not of the most intimate correspondence of the poet,
but of many letters written by him to his father and friends,
as well as unpublished fragments and essays. She has done all in her power
to make this volume accurate and trustworthy. Her sons,