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07.09.07 Percy, William Alexander, Autobiography, Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections of a Planter’s Son, published in 1941.

Our Review

William Alexander Percy (1885-1942) planter, lawyer, poet, and Southern man of letters, was the sole surviving son of an aristocratic family of Southern planters in Greenville, Mississippi, where he was born and lived out his life. Published the year before he died, his autobiography made the already well-known Will Percy even more famous. With his insight and gift for writing, Percy presents an engrossing account of the significant events of his time and place, portrayed in the perspectives of the era. Will Percy is forthright and unequivocal in upholding Southern traditions as well as the perquisites of his inherited aristocratic ancestry, realizing that with his privileges and wealth came responsibilities for those less fortunate. Although the book is regarded as a classic, some reviewers are discomfited by descriptions of the South and relations between the races which vary from contemporary theories.