The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (190721).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.
IV. The New South: Lanier.
§ 26. Hackwork.
|He did, of course, engage in too much hackwork for his own good or his reputation. Yet so exuberant was his activity that he dispatched all of these tasks with zest. His sort of spiritualized guide-book to Florida contains many descriptions over which he must have lingered and which bear witness to a quick eye and a rich humour. He puts into the whole book, too, much of himself, his love of music, his over-refining intellect, his relish of local tradition. His boys books, the Froissart and King Arthur and the rest, reveal even more of the man. He had from early youth cherished a recurring interest in the deeds and heroes of chivalry. They answered to an innate knightliness of spirit which was fostered by his Southern up-bringing. He would pick up the volume as it came fresh from the printers, familiar though it was by reason of the preparation and the proof-reading, and con page after page with pure delight. In his introductions he never learned to address his young readers, but through the mature style gleams his absorption in this fresh new world of romance.