This edition of The Story of an Affinity is the first in a series of editions of early Canadian long poems that has been made possible by a generous grant from the Academic Development Fund of the University of Western Ontario. Additional financial assistance in the form of funds to enable me to examine the manuscript of Lampman's poem in the Library of Parliament, Ottawa were made available through Western's Department of English and Faculty of Arts. For the generosity of the University and the confidence of many colleagues, most notably T.J. Collins, the Dean of Arts, J.F. Woodruff, the Chairman of the English Department, and the Adjudicating Committee and external referees of the Academic Development Fund, all of us involved in the editing of The Story of an Affinity are profoundly grateful.
For permission to publish The Story of an Affinity from the manuscript in the Library of Parliament, I am grateful to Erik J. Spicer, the Parliamentary Librarian. I am also grateful to Duncan Gray and to other members of the Library of Parliament staff for their assistance.
I owe a special debt of gratitude to R.J. Shroyer, my partner in the project to edit early Canadian long poems; his computing skills, his shrewd insights and his unstintingly generous gifts of enthusiasm, advice and time have made the production of this edition practically possible, intellectually engaging and thoroughly enjoyable. I also owe a very great debt to Carolyn Quick for her careful, patient and cheerful work in processing and proofing this edition in its various phases and manifestations. Thanks are also due to several people at the University of Western Ontario and elsewhere, especially David DeLaura, E.J. Devereux, L.R. Early, D.S. Hair, D.H. Hensley, J.D. Kneale, Douglas Lochhead and Christopher Ricks, who have made comments and suggestions that have been extremely valuable. Finally, to my wife Susan and our children, Michael, Simon and Diana, I am grateful for the affinities that must make any mere story of an affinity seem at once pale and appealing.