Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Front Matter >> Introduction

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription Introduction
William Gilmore Simms was South Carolina's and the
South's leading man of letters in the 19th century. He was
born in Charleston on 17 April 1806 and died there on 11
June 1870. During his long literary career, which began in
1825 with the publication of his first separate work, Monody
on the Death of Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Simms
wrote and published twenty-seven novels or romances, five
collections of short fiction, eighteen volumes of poetry, two
of drama, four volumes of history and geography, four of
biography, and five volumes of reviews and miscellaneous
prose, a total of sixty-five volumes. Probably an equal or
greater amount of material was furnished to various periodi-
cals and annuals during his career, including four novels that
appeared serially in magazines between 1863 and 1869. As an
editor, he brought out three volumes of the works of other
authors and four miscellaneous anthologies, and was associ-
ated editorially with a substantial number of significant
periodicals, among which were such South Carolina news-
papers as the Charleston Courier and the Charleston Mercury,
and such journals as The Magnolia, the Southern Literary
Gazette, the Southern and Western Magazine and Review and
The Southern Quarterly Review. As his many published
addresses attest, he was also a popular lecturer on a variety
of subjects, and he left a number of works, including one of
his finest short stories, in manuscript at his death.
As a student of history, Simms' interests ranged over
nearly every stage of the development of western civilization,
beginning with ancient Greece and Rome and carrying
through to European history of the age of Napoleon and