Simms, William Gilmore
Simms, William Gilmore,1806–70, American novelist, b. Charleston, S.C. He wrote prolifically, both prose and poetry, but it is for his historical romances about his own state that he is remembered and often compared with James Fenimore CooperCooper, James Fenimore,
1789–1851, American novelist, b. Burlington, N.J., as James Cooper. He was the first important American writer to draw on the subjects and landscape of his native land in order to create a vivid myth of frontier life.
..... Click the link for more information. . His tales of the Southern frontier include Guy Rivers (1834) and Beauchampe (1842; one part rewritten as Charlemont, 1856); those of colonial times are The Yemassee (1835) and The Cassique of Kiawah (1859); romances of Revolutionary times include a series—The Partisan (1835), Mellichampe (1836), and Katharine Walton (1851)—and The Forayers (1855) and its sequel, Eutaw (1856). He also wrote less successful novels of Spanish history. Besides continually writing fiction, he edited (1849–56) the Southern Quarterly Review and wrote local history and biographies of Francis Marion (1844), Nathanael Greene (1849), and others. His volumes of short stories are entitled Carl Werner (1838) and The Wigwam and the Cabin (two series, both 1845). His home and fortune were destroyed in the Civil War.
See biographies by W. P. Trent (1899, repr. 1968) and J. Guilds (1988); studies by J. Kibler, Jr. (1979) and M. A. Wimsatt (1989).
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Simms, William Gilmore(1806–70) writer; born in Charleston, N.C. After the death of his mother (1808), he was raised by his maternal grandmother and schooled locally. He was admitted to the bar (1827), but spent his time writing poetry and working as an editor in Charleston. He became a prolific writer of historical romances, notably The Yamassee: A Romance of Carolina (1835). He also continued to write poetry, short stories, histories, and essays. A believer in the myth that the South could be a paradise where slaves were treated benevolently, he saw his life and work radically altered by the Civil War.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.