Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The International Monthly, Volume 5, No. 4, April, 1852   By:

Book cover

First Page:


Of Literature, Art, and Science.

Vol. V. NEW YORK, APRIL 1, 1852. No. IV.



A steadily growing reputation for almost twenty years, justified by the gradually increasing evidence of those latent, exhaustless, ever unfolding energies which belong to genius, has inwoven the name of Simms with the literature of America, and made it part of the heirloom which our age will give to posterity. Asking and desiring nothing to which he could not prove himself justly entitled, he has wrested a reputation from difficulty and obstacle, and conquered an honorable acknowledgment from opposition and indifference. Even if we had not proofs of genius in the treasury of thought and imagination constituted by his writings, still the nobility of the example of energy, perseverance, and high toned hopefulness, which he has given, would deserve a grateful homage.

William Gilmore Simms is the second, and only surviving, of three brothers, sons of William Gilmore Simms, and Harriet Ann Augusta Singleton. His father was of a Scotch Irish family, and his mother of a Virginia stock, her grandparents having removed to South Carolina long before the Revolution, in which they took an active part on the Whig side. He was born on the 17th of April, 1806. His mother died when he was an infant. His father, failing in business as a merchant, removed first to Tennessee, and then to Mississippi. While in Tennessee he volunteered and held a commission in the army of Jackson (in Coffee's brigade of mounted men), which scourged the Creeks and Seminoles after the massacre of Fort Mims. Our author, left to the care of a grandmother, remained in Charleston, where he received an education which circumstances rendered exceedingly limited. He was denied a classical training, but such characters stand little in need of the ordinary aids of the schoolmaster, and, with indomitable application, he has not only stored his mind with the richest literature, but has received an unsolicited tribute to his diligence and acquisitions, in the degree of Doctor of Laws, conferred upon him by the respectable University of Alabama.

At first it was designed that he should study medicine, but his inclination led him to the law. He was admitted to the bar of South Carolina when twenty one, practised for a brief period, and became part proprietor of a daily newspaper, which, taking ground against nullification, ruined him swallowing up a small maternal property, and involving him in a heavy debt which hung upon and embarrassed him for a long time after. In 1832, he first visited the North, where he published Atalantis. Martin Faber followed in 1834, and periodically the long catalogue of his subsequent performances.

There are few writers who have exhibited such versatility of powers, combined with vigor, originality of copious and independent ideas, and that faculty of condensation which frequently by a single pregnant line suggests an expansive train of reflection. As a poet, he unites high imaginative powers with metaphysical thought by which we mean that large discourse of reason which generalizes, and which seizes the universal, and perceives its relations to individual phenomena of nature and psychology. His poems abound in appropriate, felicitous, and original similes. His keen and fresh perception of nature, furnishes him with beautiful pictures, the truthfulness and clearness of which are admirably presented in the lucid language with which they are painted, and, in his expression of deep personal feelings, we find a noble union of sad emotion and manliness of tone. He draws from a full treasury of varied experience, active thought, close observation, just and original reflection, and a spirit which has drank deeply and lovingly from the gushing founts of nature. His inspiration is often kindled by the sunny and luxuriant scenery of the beautiful region to which he was born, and besides the freshness and glow which this imparts to his descriptive poetry, it makes him emphatically the poet of the South... Continue reading book >>

Book sections

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books