Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 16: No 1) >> The Arkansas Simms Edition: An Interim Report >> Page 40

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Page 40

Secondary Scholarship | 2008

In January 2006, I took over as General Editor of the Arkansas Edition
of the Selected Fiction of William Gilmore Simms. John C. Guilds,
who guided the Edition successfully for a great many years, has
stepped down from an active role but remains as Founding General
Editor and continues to offer counsel and support. The Editorial Board
has been reconstituted, with James E. Kibler and David Moltke-Hansen
continuing to serve and David W. Newton and Kevin Collins as new

Eleven volumes of the Edition are in print, with six to come. Already
published are Guy Rivers, The Yemassee, Richard Hurdis, Border
Beagles, The Cub of the Panther, Helen Halsey, The Wigwam and the
Cabin, The Forayers, The Cassique of Kiawah, Martin Faber, and
(just out this fall) Eutaw. Editors have been assigned for the remaining
volumes: The Partisan (Steve Meats), Confession (Miriam
Shillingsburg), Vasconselos (Kevin Collins). Katherine Walton (David
Newton), and Woodcraft (Jim Kibler), plus a volume to be entitled
Mountain Tales, edited by Keen Butterworth, which will bring together
three of Simms's best-known stories "Paddy McGann; or, The
Demon of the Stump,""How - Sharp Snaffles Got His Capital and
Wife," and "`Bald-Head Bill Bauldy' and How He Went Through the
Flurriday Campaign!" These editors are seasoned Simms scholars. All
are at work on their volumes, and with luck we should be able to
complete the Edition in another five years.

This is a homecoming of sorts for me. I worked on the South Carolina
Simms Edition as a graduate student in the I960s and was trained for
the work by Jack Guilds, as were the volume editors. I bring no special
qualifications, other than my appreciation for Simms' writings, but I do
have experience as the Textual Editor of the Pennsylvania Dreiser
Edition and as General Editor of the Cambridge Fitzgerald Edition. My
role will be to orchestrate the work of the individual volume editors and
to guide their work into print.
The editorial principles of the Edition remain the same. The copy-text
for each volume will be the edition last supervised by Simms,
representative variants among editions will be given in the back matter,
orthography will be unmodernized, and emendations will be recorded
in a textual apparatus. Illustrations from the original editions of the
titles will be included when possible, as will facsimiles from Simms'
manuscripts when they survive. One change: earlier volumes in the
Edition have contained both an introduction by Jack Guilds and an