Wlliam Gilmore Simms
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  • Publication date: 1840s (x)
  • Creator: Anonymous [William Gilmore Simms] (x)
  • Holding Institution: University of South Carolina, South Caroliniana Library (x)
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      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 ...
      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 ...
      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, ...
      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 ...
      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 ...
      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 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 ...