This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 necessity confirmed his training and temper by urging him to immense industry and careless work. It is unnecessary to say more of the miscellaneous tasks of Simms than that he wrote moderate poetry to the end of his life, including three tragedies, that he edited the apocryphal plays of Shakespeare, that he produced popular histories of South Carolina and popular biographies of Marion, Captain John Smith, the Chevalier Layard, and General Greene, and that he kept up a ceaseless flood of contributions to periodicals. His range of interest and information was large, but he commonly dealt with American, and particularly Southern, affairs. His really significant work, as a romancer, he began in 1833 with a Godwinian tale of crime, Martin Faber, which was so well received that he followed it in 1834 with Guy Rivers and in 1835 with The Yemassee, two romances in which almost the full extent of his powers was instantly displayed. Guy Rivers, a conventional piece as regards the love affair which makes a part of the plot, is a tale of deadly strife between the laws of Georgia and a fiendish bandit. A born story-teller, like Cooper, Simms was as heedless as Cooper of structure and less careful as to style, but he was too rapid to be dull and he revealed to the reading world a new adventurous frontier. In The Yemassee his concern for the history of South Carolina bore fruit, a moving tale of the Yemassee War of 1715. This book is to the famous Revolutionary group what The spy is to the Leather-Stocking tales, a romance standing somewhat by itself at the beginning of the author's career and yet quite the equal of any of the most representative volumes. Once again Simms took hints from current romances, but when he set himself to describing the rich landscape of South Carolina or to recounting its annals he was more fully master of his material than in Guy Rivers and more admirable in proportion as his subject was more congenial to him. He gave his Indians the dignity and courage which, he said, they must have had at an earlier period; he invented for them a mythology. The white and black characters have somewhat less heroic dimensions, but they are done with great vigour and some realism. His third novel having met with popular success, Simms turned to the Revolution and published The partisan (1835), designed as the first volume of a trilogy which should celebrate
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.