Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Book of My Lady: A Melange >> The Book of My Lady: A Melange >> The Forest Maiden

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The Forest Maiden

Miscellany | Key & Biddle | 1833


                While a minor work overall in the Simms canon, The Book of My Lady: A Melange, published in 1833 by Key & Biddle of Philadelphia, is nevertheless an important text.  Here, Simms presents several stories that appear in later works, positioning The Book of My Lady as an interesting transitional work.  This collection of nineteen stories and ten poems also provides a clear glimpse of the influence of Romanticism on Simms, particularly in his thinking about the complex relationships between art, history, and nationality—subjects that would fascinate the author throughout his life.  While there is some evidence to suggest that Simms himself found the work largely forgettable later in his career, The Book of My Lady nevertheless shows the writer in the final stages of his apprenticeship, exploring the concerns that would be central to his mature work.