The Yemassee

By William Gilmore Simms; Alexander Cowie | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

AFTER Walter Scott inaugurated his brilliant series of Waverley novels in 1814, it was only a matter of time until American novelists should begin to capitalize the rich resources of history, legend, and romantic scenery in the new world. Native writers had already imitated the sentimental, Gothic, and satirical novels of eighteenth-century British writers. But for a number of reasons (among them the Puritan prejudice against art divorced from ethics) their success had been only moderate. When Cooper rose meteorically to fame in 1821 by writing The Spy, however, it was instantly perceived that the historical romance was a universally acceptable type of fiction: it was full enough of fast adventure to entertain the reader and sufficiently wholesome in tone to disarm moral critics who had long looked askance at the novel. The Spy was a prodigious success both at home and abroad, and it did much to dispel that feeling of inferiority with respect to the arts which had lingered in America even after two victorious wars with the British. Immediately after the appearance of the "American Scott," there arose a school of writers of the historical romance — among them Neal, Paulding, and Sedgwick —but none of his followers equaled Cooper, who for many years was by far the leading American novelist. Inevitably there came a reaction, however, and by the end of a decade Cooper himself had begun to feel the paucity of native materials for romance. 1. By 1833 the first great wave of the historical romance had pretty well run its course. 2. But it was not long before a new writer appeared who revivified the genre in the 1830's and who achieved a celebrity only little less than that of Cooper. That writer was William

____________________
1.
G. Harrison Orians, " The Romance Ferment after Waverley,"American Literature, III, 425-26 ( January, 1932). It should be recalled, of course, that at least two of Cooper best romances, The Pathfinder ( 1840) and The Deerslayer ( 1841), remained to be written. Among American writers of the historical romance whose first work appeared later than that of Simms, probably the most important was J. E. Cooke, author of The Virginia Comedians ( 1854).
2.
Orians, loc. cit., p. 431.

-ix-

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The Yemassee
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • American Fiction Series *
  • The Yemassee *
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations vii
  • Introduction ix
  • A Simms Chronology xxxvi
  • Selected Bibliography xxxvii
  • The Yemassee Uprising xlii
  • Note on the Text *
  • To Professor Samuel Henry Dickson, M.D., of South Carolina 3
  • Chapter I 9
  • Chapter II 15
  • Chapter III 21
  • Chapter IV 28
  • Chapter V 34
  • Chapter VI 43
  • Chapter VII 51
  • Chapter VIII 65
  • Chapter IX 74
  • Chapter X 81
  • Chapter XI 91
  • Chapter XII 98
  • Chapter XIII 105
  • Chapter XIV 113
  • Chapter XV 118
  • Chapter XVI 123
  • Chapter XVII 133
  • Chapter XVIII 139
  • Chapter XIX 146
  • Chapter XX 151
  • Chapter XXI 159
  • Chapter XXII 165
  • Chapter XXIII 173
  • Chapter XXIV 182
  • Chapter XXV 188
  • Chapter XXVI 201
  • Chapter XXVII 210
  • Chapter XXVIII 215
  • Chapter XXIX 222
  • Chapter XXX 229
  • Chapter XXXI 235
  • Chapter XXXII 243
  • Chapter XXXIII 249
  • Chapter XXXIV 255
  • Chapter XXXV 265
  • Chapter XXXVI 271
  • Chapter XXXVII 276
  • Chapter XXXVIII 283
  • Chapter Xxxix 295
  • Chapter XL 300
  • Chapter XLI 307
  • Chapter XLII 314
  • Chapter XLIII 322
  • Chapter XLIV 329
  • Chapter XLV 336
  • Chapter XLVI 345
  • Chapter XLVII 355
  • Chapter XLVIII 363
  • Chapter Xlix 375
  • Chapter L 382
  • Chapter LI 389
  • Chapter LII 396
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