Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Richard Hurdis; or, The Avenger of Blood. A Tale of Alabama. >> Richard Hurdis; or, The Avenger of Blood. A Tale of Alabama. >> Chapter I

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Chapter I

Novel (Romance) | Carey and Hart | 1838

Introduction

           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 again” during this period.[1]  After the break with the Harpers, Simms began a relationship with Carey and Hart of Philadelphia, who published Richard Hurdis in late August 1838.

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