Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 13: No 2) >> From Our Archives — ''A Clue to Simms's Neglect'' >> Page 45

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Page 45

Secondary Scholarship | 1996
Transcription Nichols also describes the Army's encampment at "Woodlands" on 12
February 1865 in rather sinister fashion:
Tonight we are encamped upon the place of one of South Carolina's most
high-blooded chivalry--one of those persons who believe himself to have
been brought into the world to rule over his fellow creatures, a sort of
Grand Pasha and all that sort of thing. How the negro pioneers are making
away with the evergreens and rose-bushes of his artistically arranged walks,
flower-beds, and drives! These black men in blue are making brooms of
his pet shrubs, with which they clear the grounds in front of the tents.
This passage shows clearly that Nichols bitterly resented the beauty of
Simms's gardens and his status as "Grand Pasha" and one of the "high-
blooded chivalry."
In her excellent recent introduction to Simms's Tales of the South,
Mary Ann Wimsatt has stated that "after the war, Northern historians and
literary historians, backed by the powerful Northern publishing industry,
rewrote American history in a manner fundamentally unsympathetic toward
the South and its authors. The prevailing interpretation of the South, which
still operates in the late twentieth century, has distorted the national
understanding of Southern culture ... and most particularly of Simms."
Even more convincingly, Wimsatt notes that Simms, "because of his pro-
Southern, secessionist stance, has virtually become a national scapegoat."
Major Nichols' assurance that Simms's name will be struck from the annals
of the country provides further proof of Wimsatt's assertions. More
significantly, Nichols' comments reveal that the neglect of Simms had, from
the start, been planned, had been intentional--and clearly had a cultural-
political basis. The desire that Simms would in the future "have no name"
began as early as 1865--and Nichols' own published statements provide
primary documentation of this fact.

CONFESSION Featured in New Journal

Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation,
founded in summer 2005 has in its volume I, number 1, an excellent,
provocative treatment of Sinrims's novel. The essay is authored by Dr.
Christy Desmet, and deals with .Confession as an antebellum Othello. It can
be found at www.borrowers.uga.edu .