The Lily and the Totem: or, The Huguenots in Florida


This antique hardcover book is bound in green cloth boards, with gilt spine lettering. Heavy edgewear, especially at lower spine where small portion of cloth has chipped loose; bookplate on front inner board; intermittent foxing throughout, although many pages clean and unmarked. Simms' novel is set in 16th-century Florida among the French Huguenot colonists who once settled in that region.  While The Lily and the Totem is a story of French Huguenots in sixteenth-century Florida, it is not, importantly, a historical romance.  Rather, Simms here experimented with a new way in which to relate history—by telling history through fictionalized narratives that fill in the gaps between what we do and do not know about a time and place.  The structure of The Lily and the Totem reflects Simms’s experiment, juxtaposing fictional narratives involving historical personages with “historical summaries.” (W. Matthew J. Simmons). 470 pages; approx. 5"x7".



  • The Lily and the Totem: or, The Huguenots in Florida
  • William Gilmore Simms
  • Baker and Scribner, 1850