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

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Introduction

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription INTRODUCTIONxi

Simms put his extensive knowledge of the Revolution to
use in a wide variety of article- and book-length works over a
period of nearly forty-five years. Among his most notable
non-fictional publications on the Revolution are The History
of South Carolina (1840), which devotes nearly two-thirds of
its length to the Revolution; full-length biographies of Gen-
eral Francis Marion (1844) and General Nathanael Greene
(1849); South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War (1853), a
book defending the importance of the state's contributions
to the conflict; a volume of the war correspondence of Colo-
nel John Laurens for which Simms wrote a biographical
memoir of Laurens; extensive articles on such prominent
Revolutionary figures as Governor John Rutledge and the
Baron DeKalb; biographical sketches of nearly a dozen Revo-
lutionary soldiers and civilians for various biographical and
historical works; a substantial number of lectures on topics
ranging .from particular battles to individual men; and many
book reviews in which he uses his own primary knowledge of
the Revolution to support, expand upon, or to refute the
work he is evaluating. Simms was also instrumental in encour-
aging other amateur historians to write down the results of
their researches by publishing their works in some of the
journals he edited, particularly in The Magnolia and The
Southern Quarterly Review.


But Simms made the most extensive use of his knowledge
of the history, legends and traditions of the Revolution in the
series of eight Revolutionary War novels which constitute the
most ambitious treatment of the conflict by an American
author of the 19th century. Concentrating on the progress of
the war in South Carolina, these novels were written and pub-
lished in the following order:
1835 The Partisan: A Tale of the Revolution. 2 volumes.
New York: Harper & Brothers. Revised edition,
entitled The Partisan: A Romance of the Revolu-
tion, New York: Redfield, 1854.