Wlliam Gilmore Simms
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      Atalantis.  A Story of the Sea: In Three Parts.

      Atalantis. A Story of the Sea: In Three Parts.

      Poetry | J. & J. Harper | 1832
                  William Gilmore Simms published Atalantis.  A Story of the Sea: In Three Parts in the fall of 1832.  While Simms’s name does not appear anywhere on or in the text, it is unlikely that he sought any type of anonymity in its publication.  Within weeks of its appearing in print a reviewer in the Charleston Courier announced, “It is attributed to the pen of our fellow-townsman, William Gilmore Simms, Esq.…”[1]  Even without such prompting anyone familiar with Simms’s work would have quickly recognized his authorship, because the opening sonnet was one that he had previously ...
      Beauchampe; or, The Kentucky Tragedy. A Tale of Passion.

      Beauchampe; or, The Kentucky Tragedy. A Tale of Passion.

      Novel (Romance) | Lea and Blanchard | 1842
                  Early in the morning of 7 November 1825, in the town of Frankfort, KY, a young lawyer named Jereboam O. Beauchamp crept to the house of the state attorney general, Solomon P. Sharp, and stabbed him to death.  The murder was orchestrated to avenge the honor of Anna Cook[1], Beauchamp’s wife, who as a single woman had been seduced, impregnated, and abandoned by Sharp[2].  The event was a national sensation immediately following its discovery and Beauchamp’s capture days later.  Following Cook and Beauchamp’s failed joint suicide attempt and the latter’s subsequent execution, ...
      Border Beagles:  A Tale of Mississippi

      Border Beagles: A Tale of Mississippi

      Novel (Romance) | Carey and Hart | 1840
                In The Major Fiction of William Gilmore Simms, Mary Ann Wimsatt argues that Border Beagles, the sequel to the scandalous Richard Hurdis, shows Simms as continuing to explore the contentious relationship between the older, civilized tidewater south and the wild trans-mountain frontier.[1]  While thus continuing a theme begun with Guy Rivers and Richard Hurdis, Border Beagles saw Simms decidedly scaling back the violence found in those two books, especially the latter.  Here, the author’s presentation of the chaos and dangers of the frontier is tempered by humor, with ...
      Carl Werner, An Imaginative Story; with Other Tales of Imagination

      Carl Werner, An Imaginative Story; with Other Tales of Imagination

      Short Stories | George Adlard | 1838
                 Carl Werner was published in December 1838 by George Adlard of New York.[1]  In the author’s advertisement, Simms classified the collected stories as “moral imaginative” tales, a form of allegory illuminating the “strifes between the rival moral principles of good and evil.”  Such stories, according to John C. Guilds, may often exploit supernatural elements, although it is not necessary.  Simms attributed the origin of the title story to “an ancient monkish legend,” as he set “Carl Werner” in the deepest parts of the German forest where the narrator and his friend ...
      Castle Dismal; or, The Bachelor

      Castle Dismal; or, The Bachelor's Christmas

      Novella | Burgess, Stringer & Co. | 1844
                  A gothic tale of ghosts, infidelity, murder, and love, Castle Dismal follows the protagonist Ned Clifton, a “veteran bachelor” who fears the bonds of marriage, in his holiday visit to the home of married friends.  Set during the Christmas season in South Carolina, Simms’s story illustrates the southern custom of bringing together family around a table to feast; and while Clifton eventually marries Elizabeth Singleton—freeing him from the “melancholy dependencies of bachelorism”—Simms subverts naïve nineteenth-century notions of marriage and domesticity.[1]  Marked ...
      Charleston: The Palmetto City.  An Essay

      Charleston: The Palmetto City. An Essay

      Travel Writings | Harper & Brothers; Southern Studies Program, University of South Carolina | 1857, 1976
                      Charleston: The Palmetto City is a 1976 pamphlet republication of an essay of the same name, originally published anonymously by Simms in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in June 1857.[1]  The pamphlet edition of this essay is a facsimile of the original Harper’s piece.  In the essay, a rare example of the author’s travel writing, Simms focused on the architecture and geography of his native city, descriptions that are complimented by detailed illustrations of many of the most significant of Charleston’s buildings and memorials.[2]  While a minor work, the essay ...
      Confession; or, The Blind Heart. A Domestic Story.

      Confession; or, The Blind Heart. A Domestic Story.

      Novel (Romance) | Lea and Blanchard | 1841
                  Building out of his early experiences with writing in the psychological gothic mode in such texts as Martin Faber (1833) and Carl Werner (1838) and anticipating his later work Castle Dismal (1844), William Gilmore Simms published Confesssion; or, The Blind Heart in 1841.  Coming at the front of what many consider to be the author’s most productive period, this novel is the extended confession of Edward Clifford who is orphaned at a young age and sent to be reared by his aunt and uncle in Charleston.  Rising above his foster parents’ scorn, Clifford becomes a lawyer, a prominent citizen, ...
      Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia

      Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia

      Novel (Romance) | Harper & Brothers | 1834
                Guy Rivers was published by Harper & Brothers in July 1834 as the first of Simms’s many fictional frontier writings known as the Border Romance series. According to the author, these works were “meant to illustrate the border & domestic history of the South.”[1]  Writing to James Lawson in December 1833, Simms described the novel as “a tale of Georgia—a tale of the miners—of a frontier and wild people, and the events are precisely such as may occur among a people & in a region of that character.”[2]  Mary Ann Wimsatt notes that Guy Rivers established ...
      Katharine Walton; or, The Rebel of Dorchester. An Historical Romance of the Revolution in Carolina.

      Katharine Walton; or, The Rebel of Dorchester. An Historical Romance of the Revolution in Carolina.

      Novel (Romance) | A. Hart | 1851
                Set in September of 1780, Katharine Walton is the third installment of a trilogy that follows The Partisan and Mellichampein covering the Revolution in South Carolina.[1]  While The Partisan and Mellichampe are set in the interior of the Santee and Wateree rivers, Katharine Walton  takes the reader to the city of Charleston in 1780-81 to trace the social world of South Carolina under British occupation.[2]  The city functions narratively as a “unifying center,” according to John C. Guilds, to free Katharine Walton of the “awkward shifts in action and setting ...
      Martin Faber and Other Tales

      Martin Faber and Other Tales

      Short Stories | Harper & Brothers | 1837
                 One of the most important works in Simms’s development as a writer, Martin Faber has a long and intriguing publication history.  Originally published as a novella by J. & J. Harper of New York in 1833, it was revised and expanded for re-publication, alongside nine other short stories and a poem, as Martin Faber, the Story of a Criminal, and Other Tales, issued by Harper & Brothers in 1837.[1]  Simms biographer John Caldwell Guilds notes the significance of Martin Faber for the author, as its writing and Simms’s hopes for it, seemed to seriously alter his life in his late ...
      Martin Faber:  The Story of a Criminal

      Martin Faber: The Story of a Criminal

      Novella | J. & J. Harper | 1833
                 One of the most important works in Simms’s development as a writer, Martin Faber has a long and intriguing publication history.  Originally published as a novella by J. & J. Harper of New York in 1833, it was revised and expanded for re-publication, alongside nine other short stories and a poem, as Martin Faber, the Story of a Criminal, and Other Tales, issued by Harper & Brothers in 1837.[1]  Simms biographer John Caldwell Guilds notes the significance of Martin Faber for the author, as its writing and Simms’s hopes for it, seemed to seriously alter his life in his late ...
      Matilda: or, The Spectre of the Castle.  An Imaginative Story.

      Matilda: or, The Spectre of the Castle. An Imaginative Story.

      Novella | F. Gleason | 1846
                 Carl Werner was published in December 1838 by George Adlard of New York.[1]  In the author’s advertisement, Simms classified the collected stories as “moral imaginative” tales, a form of allegory illuminating the “strifes between the rival moral principles of good and evil.”  Such stories, according to John C. Guilds, may often exploit supernatural elements, although it is not necessary.  Simms attributed the origin of the title story to “an ancient monkish legend,” as he set “Carl Werner” in the deepest parts of the German forest where the narrator and his friend ...
      Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee

      Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee

      Novel (Romance) | Harper & Brothers | 1836
                The second of eight novels in the Revolutionary War series, William Gilmore Simms’s Mellichampe was originally published by Harper in 1836, then revised and republished in the Redfield edition in 1854.  The story follows the fictional band of Francis Marion’s partisans in the fall of 1780 after the Battle of Camden, as they engage in guerrilla warfare on the Santee River against loyalist and British forces.  In his advertisement to the first edition, Simms considered Mellichampe a “Historical romance” that accurately conveyed the career of Marion[1] to the “very ...
      Pelayo:  A Story of the Goth

      Pelayo: A Story of the Goth

      Novel (Romance) | Harper & Brothers | 1838
                      By the late 1830s, Simms’s reputation and fame were on a steady rise; on the strength of romances like The Yemassee and The Partisan, Simms was widely regarded as one of antebellum America’s finest writers.  At this point, the always self-conscious novelist made one of the more curious decisions of his literary career by reworking a piece of verse-drama juvenilia into the novel Pelayo:  A Story of the Goth, published in two volumes by Harper & Brothers of New York in 1838.  In writing Pelayo, Simms left the romantic epics of America’s history and frontier on which ...
      Richard Hurdis; or, The Avenger of Blood. A Tale of Alabama.

      Richard Hurdis; or, The Avenger of Blood. A Tale of Alabama.

      Novel (Romance) | Carey and Hart | 1838
                 Richard Hurdis, the second of Simms’s Border Romances (following Guy Rivers of 1834), presents an intriguing study of the author’s development, as its publication history illustrated Simms’s notorious sensitivity to critical reception.  Hurdis came out during a worrisome time in Simms’s life, with his second wife, Chevillette Eliza Roach Simms, severely ill while pregnant, and the writer’s relationship with his publisher, the Harper Brothers of New York, souring.  John C. Guilds notes that “alternating moods of depression and optimism—lifelong traits—soon became dominant ...
      Sack and Destruction of the City of Columbia, S. C.

      Sack and Destruction of the City of Columbia, S. C.

      Journalism | Power Press of Daily Phœnix | 1865
                 One of the more important, though most-lightly studied, of Simms’s works is Sack and Destruction of the City of Columbia, SC, a narrative recounting of William Tecumseh Sherman’s entry into and occupation of South Carolina’s capital city, and its subsequent destruction in the waning days of the Civil War.  Simms originally published Sack and Destruction serially in The Columbia Phoenix, “a small newspaper edited by Simms that commenced publication in the waning weeks of the Confederacy” from the newspaper’s first edition until 10 April 1865; after the close of the War, ...
      Sir Will O

      Sir Will O'Wisp; Or the Irish Baronet; a Tale of its own day

      Novel (Romance) | 2014
      ...
      The Charleston Book:  A Miscellany in Prose and Verse

      The Charleston Book: A Miscellany in Prose and Verse

      Miscellany | The Reprint Company; Samuel Hart, Sen. | 1845, 1983
                 One of the major American cities of the mid-19th century, Charleston was viewed by its citizens as a hub of culture and erudition equal to that of the other great cities of the time, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.  To illustrate the quality of the city’s intellectual life and literary merits, “Charleston book-seller and Reform Jewish leader Samuel Hart, Sr. proposed that Charlestonians join the trend” of putting together an anthology of writings by city residents, much as several other cities had done throughout the late 1830s.[1]  Simms, the leading ...
      The Damsel of Darien

      The Damsel of Darien

      Novel (Romance) | Lea and Blanchard | 1839
                 The Damsel of Darien was published in two volumes in 1839.  Simms first mentioned the story to James Lawson in a 2 September 1838 letter, revealing that he “wrote during the first part of the summer some 150 pages of a new novel & there it sticks.”[1]  Simms informed Lawson in January of 1839 that Damsel would be published with Lea & Blanchard of Philadelphia, who would pay $1000 for a first edition of 3,000 copies; in the meantime, Simms was busy revising the “numerous errors of history & geography” committed while composing the first volume of the story.[2]  ...
      The Golden Christmas: A Chronicle of St. John

      The Golden Christmas: A Chronicle of St. John's, Berkeley

      Novella | Walker, Richards & Co. | 1852
                      Published by Walker & Richards in 1852, The Golden Christmas is novella of social manners set in the lowcountry of Berkeley County near Charleston, South Carolina.  Geography is of central importance to both the book itself and the story within.  Charleston, as the home of the author, the setting of the story, and the location of the publisher and printer is as much the focus of the work as any characters or details of plot; in a 2005 introduction to the novella, critic David Aiken claims that The Golden Christmas “today provides one of the most comprehensive and accurate ...
      The Kinsmen; or, the Black Riders of Congaree.  A Tale.

      The Kinsmen; or, the Black Riders of Congaree. A Tale.

      Novel (Romance) | Lea and Blanchard | 1841
                  William Gilmore Simms’s third novel of the Revolutionary War (though fifth in order of plot chronology) was originally published in 1841 under the title The Kinsmen.  It became an early offering as part of the Redfield edition under its more popularly-known title The Scout in 1854.  A novel of familial conflict in the context of war and a broad-minded exploration of patriotism across classes, The Scout opens shortly after the Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill (aka the Second Battle of Camden)[1] in May 1781.  The action ends with the British departure from the Star Fort at Ninety ...
      The Partisan:  A Tale of the Revolution

      The Partisan: A Tale of the Revolution

      Novel (Romance) | Harper & Brothers | 1835
                The Partisan: A Tale of the Revolution (1835) was the first composed of Simms’s series of romances about the Revolutionary War, though the second in the series’ overall chronology.  The Partisan was also the first of a “trilogy” of closely-related novels within Simms’s overall Revolutionary War saga, sharing characters and other links with Mellichampe (1836) and Katherine Walton (1851).[1] The novel deals with the 1780 Battle of Camden and its aftermath, especially the guerilla warfare tactics employed by “The Swamp Fox,” General Francis Marion, and other ...
      The Remains of Maynard Davis Richardson with a Memoir of His Life

      The Remains of Maynard Davis Richardson with a Memoir of His Life

      Documents | O. A. Roorback | 1833
                      One of Simms’s most personal works, The Remains of Maynard Davis Richardson is an editorial project the writer undertook after his good friend Richardson’s premature death at the age of 20 on 12 October 1832.  While details about their friendship remain scarce, it is known that Richardson accompanied Simms on the writer’s first trip to the North,[1] and Simms dedicated his long 1832 narrative poem Atalantis to him, referring to the younger man’s “high moral and intellectual worth” in his dedicatory note.  The families of the two men had been long acquainted ...
      The Sword and the Distaff; or, "Fair, Fat and Forty," A Story of the South, at the Close of Revolution

      The Sword and the Distaff; or, "Fair, Fat and Forty," A Story of the South, at the Close of Revolution

      Novel (Romance) | Walker, Richards & Co. | 1852
             Written in the “midst of one of the most productive creative surges in his career,”[1] Woodcraft; or, Hawks About the Dovecote: A Story of the South at the Close of the Revolution makes the most serious and sustained claim as Simms’s masterpiece in the novel form.[2]  The fifth novel composed in Simms’s saga of the American Revolution, it is set during the chaotic close and aftermath of the war.  This makes it the last (eighth) Revolutionary Romance in terms of chronological action. As the work opens, the British are evacuating Charleston in December 1782. Then the novel shifts ...
      The Tri-Color; or The Three Days of Blood in Paris. With Some Other Pieces

      The Tri-Color; or The Three Days of Blood in Paris. With Some Other Pieces

      Poetry | Wigfall & Davis, Strand | c. 1831
                William Gilmore Simms published The Tri-Color; or the Three Days of Blood, in Paris. With Some Other Pieces in the winter of 1830 or the spring of 1831.  He did so anonymously, and the advertisement at the front of the text says simply, “The Work, now offered to the notice of the British Public, is by an American Citizen.”  Though Simms told James Lawson that he did not “wish to be known as its author for a variety of reasons,” he did list it among his publications multiple times within his letters.[1]  James Kibler suggests that one reason that Simms may have ...
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