Pirates and Devils: William Gilmore Simms's Unfinished Postbellum Novels

Pirates and Devils: William Gilmore Simms's Unfinished Postbellum Novels

Pirates and Devils: William Gilmore Simms's Unfinished Postbellum Novels

Pirates and Devils: William Gilmore Simms's Unfinished Postbellum Novels

Synopsis

Pirates and Devils, edited by Nicholas G. Meriwether and David W. Newton, presents two of the most significant unfinished works by William Gilmore Simms, a prominent public intellectual of the antebellum South and one of the most prolific literary writers of the nineteenth century. These two incomplete works--the pirate romance, "The Brothers of the Coast," and the folk fable, "Sir Will O' Wisp"--are representative of the some of the last major primary texts of Simms's expansive career. Recent scholarship about Simms, including William Gilmore Simms's Unfinished Civil War, reasserts the significance of Simms's postwar writing and makes this volume's contribution timely.

Left unfinished at his death, these two substantial fragments represent the last of the major primary texts from the final phase of Simms's life to be published. Together, the texts provide greater insight into Simms's creative process, but more importantly, they show Simms continuing to wrestle with the issues he faced in the aftermath of the Civil War, and they document the creativity and courage that commitment represented--and required. The publication of these fragments makes possible a complete picture of this last phase of Simms's life, as he struggled with the consequences of a conflict that had become the defining event of his life, career, and region.

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