With examinations of novels and shorter pieces by antebellum author William Gilmore Simms and such luminaries as George Tucker, John Pendleton Kennedy
, William Alexander Caruthers, Ellen Glasgow, William Faulkner, Caroline Gordon, Stark Young, Allen Tate, Andrew Lytle, Flannery O'Connor, Pat Conroy, James Everett Kibler and even Margaret Mitchell, Cantrell finds their themes and use of language to be uniquely Celtic rather than Anglo-Saxon, and sometimes dependent upon the unique understanding of a Southern audience who were in on the secret.
Four of his eight frontier or "border" novels are as graphically violent and chilling and as well-developed as those written by Robert Montgomery Bird or John Pendleton Kennedy
Toni Morrison in her influential and eloquent Playing in the Dark avoided the hard question of whether it was important to attend to the Africanist presence in the proslavery mind, and most of the other critics who join in this undertaking carefully avoid plantation novelist John Pendleton Kennedy
, Southern romancer William Gilmore Simms, anti-abolitionist propaganda novelist Caroline Lee Hentz, proslavery socialist ideologue George Fitzhugh, and other antebellum proslavery writers, not to mention loathesome postbellum geniuses like Thomas Nelson Page.
Tracy studies five male novelists often associated with the defense of slavery and Southern culture: John Pendleton Kennedy
, William Alexander Caruthers, Nathaniel Beverley Tucker, William Gilmore Simms, and James Ewell Heath, whom Tracy identifies as "the only true liberal of the group" (1).
A worthy example was John Pendleton Kennedy
, a lawyer and politician as well as author.
His older brother, <IR> PHILIP PENDLETON COOKE </IR> , and a cousin, <IR> JOHN PENDLETON KENNEDY
</IR> , were also authors.
As editor of the Messenger, Thompson published the writings of such eminent Southern authors as John Esten Cooke, Paul Hamilton Hayne, William Gilmore Simms, John Pendleton Kennedy
, and Henry Timrod, and he encouraged many young writers.