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.
thology, along with those of Poe, Walt Whitman, and the five recognized New England poets.
It cannot be said, however, that Lanier's rank as a poet -- even in American, to say nothing of English literature -- is yet fixed. He is a very uneven writer, and his defects are glaring. Some of the best American critics -- men who have a right to speak with authority -- shake their heads in disapproval at what they call the Lanier cult. Abroad he has had no vogue, as have Emerson and Poe and Walt Whitman. The enthusiastic praise of the "Spectator" has been more than balanced by the indifference of some English critics and the sarcasm of others. Mme. Blanc's article in the "Revue des Deux Mondes", setting forth the charm of his personality and the excellence of his poetry, met with little response in France. In view of this divergence of opinion among critics, it may be doubted if the time has yet come for anything approaching a final valuation of Lanier's work. In the later pages of this book an attempt will b