Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 4: No 2) >> Simms on Margaret Fuller >> Page 24

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Page 24

Reviews/Essays | 1996
Transcription U of South Carolina P, 1974. 421-65.
- --. Rev. of Works, by Washington Irving. Southern Quarterly Review April 1851: 571.
Wimsatt, Mary Ann. "Native Humor in Simms's Fiction and Drama." Studies in American Humor
3 (1977): 158-65.

Simms On Margaret Fuller

In Simms's Scrapbook B in the Charles Carroll Simms collection at the
South Caroliniana Library, Simms pasted a fragment of a review of the memoirs of
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) published in the year 1852. This review dates from
an unidentified newspaper of the time.
The review is significant in showing that Simms, like the best of Souther
writers in the Southern literary tradition, never attached to an ism or ology and
always mistrusted the fanatic attention to fads and fashions that he would say
seduced a writer from the central and universal truths. Such obsessions with
Fourieritism (a forerunner of Feminism), abolitionism, transcendentalism,
utilitarianism, and the like, he feels to be an unhealthy path that only leads to
distortion of truth. When he calls Fuller "a reformer, after the schools of Fourier,
Brisbane, Channing, and Greeley," he is placing her in the "tribe" of zealots which
he felt was doing just that. His comments of 1852 thus stand in marked contrast to
his view of Fuller six years earlier. In the Charleston Southern Patriot of 9 July
1846, he describes her as "a woman of thought, who feels her subject, and is one
of our most human and genial philosophers." Here follows the 1852 fragment as
Simms pasted it in Scrapbook B. If its newspaper source can be located, The
Simms Review will publish it in its entirety.