Reading William Gilmore Simms: Essays of Introduction to the Author's Canon

Reading William Gilmore Simms: Essays of Introduction to the Author's Canon

by Todd Hagstette

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611177732
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication date: 08/10/2017
Series: Projects of the Simms Initiatives
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 552
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Todd Hagstette is an assistant professor of English at the University of South Carolina Aiken, former director of the Simms Initiatives for the South Caroliniana Library, and founding director of the Digital U.S. South project for the University of South Carolina Institute for Southern Studies. Hagstette is coeditor, with John Mayfield, of The Field of Honor: Essays on Southern Character and American Identity.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

William Gilmore Simms: A Biographical Overview David Moltke-Hansen 1

The Army Correspondence of Colonel John Laurens Jeffery J. Rogers 15

Border Beagles: A Tale of Mississippi John D. Miller 25

Carl Werner, an Imaginative Story; With Other Tales of Imagination Sam Lackey 37

The Cassique of Kiawah: A Colonial Romance Kevin Collins 50

Castle Dismal; or, The Bachelor's Christmas John M. McCardell, Jr. Brian K. Fennessy 60

Confession; or, The Blind Heart Todd Hagstette 71

The Damsel of Darien Michael Odom 83

Dramas: Norman Alaume; Michael Bonham; and Benedict Arnold Abigail Lundelius Smith 97

Egeria; or, Voices of Thought and Counsel, for the Woods and Wayside David S. Shields 110

The Golden Christmas: A Chronicle of St John's, Berkeley Todd Hagstette 117

Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia Todd Hagstette 128

Helen Halsey; or, The Swamp State of Conelachita. A Tale of the Borders Jillian Weber 139

Historical and Political Poems: Monody, on the Death of Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinchney; The Vision of Cortes, Cain, and Other Poems; The Tri-Color; Donna Florida. A Tale; and Charleston and Her Satirists Jason W. Johnson 149

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 Sean R. Busick 165

The Kentucky Tragedy Romances: Charlemont; or, The Pride of the Village and Beauchampe; or, The Kentucky Tragedy Todd Hagstette 176

The Library of American Books: Views and Reviews, First & Second Series and The Wigwam and the Cabin David Moltke-Hansen 189

The Life of Captain John Smith. The Founder of Virginia Carey M. Roberts 200

The Life of the Chevalier Bayard; "The Good Knight," "Sans peur et sans reproche" Jeffery J. Rogers 208

The Life of Francis Marion Steven D. Smith 222

The Lily and the Totem; or, The Huguenots in Florida Nicholas G. Meriwether 234

Marie de Bemiere: A Tale of the Crescent City W. Matthew J. Simmons 257

Martin Faber, the Story of a Criminal; and Other Tales Todd Hagstette 269

Poems: Descriptive, Dramatic, Legendary and Contemplative Matthew C. Brennan 279

The Remains of Maynard Davis Richardson, with a Memoir of His Life Jeffery J. Rogers 287

The Revolutionary Romances: The Partisan; Alellichampe; The Scout; Katharine Walton; Woodcraft; The Forayers; Eutaw; and Joscclyn David Moltke-Hansen 295

Richard Hurdis: A Tale of Alabama John Miller 317

Sack and Destruction of the City of Columbia, SC Nicholas G. Meriwether 329

Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond Alexander Moore 347

Simms's Poems: Areytos or Songs and Ballads of the South with Other Poems Jason W. Johnson 362

Social and Political Prose: Slavery in America and Father Abbot Ehren K. Foley 374

South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War Sean R. Busick 386

Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine Jillian Weber 392

The Spanish Romances: Pelayo and Count Julian W. Matthew J. Simmons 405

A Supplement to the Plays of William Shakespeare Nan Morrison 419

Vasconsefos: A Romance of the New World Kevin Collins 429

War Poetry of the South Coleman Hutchison 442

Woodcraft; or; Hawks about the Dovecote James Everett Kibler 455

The Yemassee: A Romance of Carolina David Moltke-Hansen 467

Bibliography 485

Contributors 515

Index 519

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