Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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BENSEL, James Berry, author, born in New York City, 2 August 1856; died there, 3 February 1886. When about eight years old he removed with his parents to Lynn, Massachusetts, and most of his life was passed in that city. His literary tastes developed early, and his first poems appeared in print when he was but seventeen. A novel by him. called "King Cophetua's Wife," was published as a serial in the "Overland Monthly" in 1883, and a small volume of his poems was issued in January 1886, with the title "In the King's Garden." A second and enlarged edition of this appeared in the summer of 1886. His life was full of hardships and sorrows more than most men are called to endure, and this circumstance imparted a tinge of melancholy to many of his poems. His verse is always musical, often highly finished, and is not lacking in either strength of thought or delicacy of expression. Long and seemingly hopeless struggles against adversity and ill health affected his spirits and prevented him from realizing the full extent of his powers. His death, in his thirtieth year, removed from the world one of the most promising of the younger American poets.
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