The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

too much emphasis on Simms as Southerner. He was no provin-
cial by any means. He had many friends in the North, and almost
every year he made a trip there. If his letters to his Scottish friend
in New York, James Lawson, were omitted, these first two volumes
would shrink to half their size.
So these letters deal not only with Simms' writings and pub-
lishing activities, both as editor of various magazines and author
of books and articles, but with the whole American scene, literary
and political. Not within recent years has so significant a series of
letters appeared as these letters of William Gilmore Simms.
E. M. COULTER
University of Georgia
The Haunted Man: A Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe. By Philip
Lindsay. New York (The Philosophical Library), 1954. Pp.
256. $4.75.
Philip Lindsay's The Haunted Man: A Portrait of Edgar Allan
Poe is readable and is written in a forthright, vigorous style, but
it fails completely to give a well-rounded, accurate portrait of Poe.
It dwells with monotonous repetitiousness on Poe's alleged
weaknesses-his emotions of insecurity, fear, suspicion, envy, frus-
tration, loneliness, guilt, incest, sadism, murder, hatred and fear
of life, love of the grave and of death-which, according to Lind-
say, drove him more and more to seek refuge in drink and drugs.
Lindsay believes that John Allan's slander of Poe's mother as
an adulteress was just, that Poe's "intolerant and intolerable"
vanity and arrogance developed into megalomania and self-iden-
tification with God, that his envy and jealousy led him to make
savage attacks on all other American writers of importance, that
he was an inveterate liar, that his need for oblivion drove him
again and again to drunken sprees until he became a dipsomaniac,
that he was a drug addict from the early 1830's, that he was no
poet, that he was a bad critic, and that his sole claim to fame is
a handful of horror tales mainly inspired by suffering, internal
struggles, drink, and opium.
Most of these ideas and many similar ones are repeated
endlessly throughout the book. Though he admits that Griswold's
brief memoir written shortly after Poe's death was prejudiced
and malicious, he agrees with it for the most part and com-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/. Accessed October 26, 2014.