Reading William Gilmore Simms

Reading William Gilmore Simms

Essays of Introduction to the Author's Canon

Engaging approaches to the vast output of South Carolina's premier man of letters

William Gilmore Simms was the best known and certainly the most accomplished writer of the mid-nineteenth-century South. His literary ascent began early, with his first book being published when he was nineteen years old and his reputation as a literary genius secured before he turned thirty. Over a career that spanned nearly forty-five years, he established himself as the American South's premier man of letters—an accomplished poet, novelist, short fiction writer, essayist, historian, dramatist, cultural journalist, biographer, and editor. In Reading William Gilmore Simms, Todd Hagstette has created an anthology of critical introductions to Simms's major publications, including those recently brought back into print by the University of South Carolina Press, offering the first ever primer compendium of the author's vast output.

Simms was a Renaissance man of American letters, lauded in his time by both popular audiences and literary icons alike. Yet the author's extensive output, which includes nearly eighty published volumes, can be a barrier to his study. To create a gateway to reading and studying Simms, Hagstette has assembled thirty-eight essays by twenty-four scholars to review fifty-five Simms works. Addressing all the author's major works, the essays provide introductory information and scholarly analysis of the most crucial features of Simms's literary achievement.

Arranged alphabetically by title for easy access, the book also features a topical index for more targeted inquiry into Simms's canon. Detailing the great variety and astonishing consistency of Simms's thought throughout his long career as well as examining his posthumous reconsideration, Reading William Gilmore Simms bridges the author's genius and readers' growing curiosity. The only work of its kind, this book provides an essential passport to the far-flung worlds of Simms's fecund imagination.

  • Cover
  • Reading William Gilmore Simms
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • William Gilmore Simms: A Biographical Overview
  • The Army Correspondence of Colonel John Laurens
  • Border Beagles: A Tale of Mississippi
  • Carl Werner, an Imaginative Story; With Other Tales of Imagination
  • The Cassique of Kiawah: A Colonial Romance
  • Castle Dismal; or, The Bachelor’s Christmas
  • Confession; or, The Blind Heart
  • The Damsel of Darien
  • Dramas: Norman Maurice; Michael Bonham; and Benedict Arnold
  • Egeria; or, Voices of Thought and Counsel, for the Woods and Wayside
  • The Golden Christmas: A Chronicle of St. John’s, Berkeley
  • Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia
  • Helen Halsey; or, The Swamp State of Conelachita. A Tale of the Borders
  • Historical and Political Poems: Monody, on the Death of Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney; The Vision of Cortes, Cain, and Other Poems; The Tri-Color; Donna Florida. A Tale; and Charleston and Her Satirists
  • History and Geography: The History of South Carolina from Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic and The Geography of South Carolina: Being a Companion to the History of that State
  • The Kentucky Tragedy Romances: Charlemont; or, The Pride of the Village and Beauchampe; or, The Kentucky Tragedy
  • The Library of American Books: Views and Reviews, First & Second Series and The Wigwam and the Cabin
  • The Life of Captain John Smith. The Founder of Virginia
  • The Life of the Chevalier Bayard; “The Good Knight,” “Sans peur et sans reproche”
  • The Life of Francis Marion
  • The Lily and the Totem; or, The Huguenots in Florida
  • Marie de Berniere: A Tale of the Crescent City
  • Martin Faber, the Story of a Criminal; and Other Tales
  • Poems: Descriptive, Dramatic, Legendary and Contemplative
  • The Remains of Maynard Davis Richardson, with a Memoir of His Life
  • The Revolutionary Romances: The Partisan; Mellichampe; The Scout; Katharine Walton; Woodcraft; The Forayers; Eutaw; and Joscelyn
  • Richard Hurdis: A Tale of Alabama
  • Sack and Destruction of the City of Columbia, SC
  • Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond
  • Simms’s Poems: Areytos or Songs and Ballads of the South with Other Poems
  • Social and Political Prose: Slavery in America and Father Abbot
  • South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War
  • Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine
  • The Spanish Romances: Pelayo and Count Julian
  • A Supplement to the Plays of William Shakespeare
  • Vasconselos: A Romance of the New World
  • War Poetry of the South
  • Woodcraft; or, Hawks about the Dovecote
  • The Yemassee: A Romance of Carolina
  • Bibliography
  • Contributors
  • Index



By subscribing, you accept our Privacy Policy