Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 10: No 2) >> Simms: Speaking English with a Charleston Accent >> Page 14

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Page 14

Secondary Scholarship | 2002
Transcription their stories and one tale reminds them of another, and each may have several
little stories within the main one being told.
And so I'll end this study of Simms and his Charleston accent by briefly
taking a little side trip of my own. The author of A Christmas Carol died in
England on the 9th of June 1870. The author of The Golden Christmas died in
Charleston two days later on the 11th of June. At the end of an obituary for
Simms, published on 13 June 1870, the New York World newspaper said:

[Simms] was undoubtedly the most esteemed of American
historical novelists after Cooper. In personal character he was a
genial, refined, and pleasant gentleman, and courteous in his
manners, and blameless in his private life. Wherever he lived,
there he had troops of friends, and among them not a few admirers
who were wont to regard him with something of the same worship
that was lavished by the neighbors of Gad's Hill upon the great
novelist Dickens, whose career and death were almost
contemporaneous with those of the subject of this sketch.

Today in Charleston we hear almost nothing of Simms at Christmas time,
although we hear of Dickens every year... which only goes to prove how much
our country lost in that war Charlestonians insisted upon calling for a very long
time the Late Unpleasantness. May the Charlestonian accent of William Gilmore
Simms live in memory. He spoke it so well.

He who would acquire fame must not show
himself afraid of censure. The dread of censure
is the death of genius.
----William Gilmore Simms