The Wigwam and the Cabin


The Arkansas Edition
William Gilmore Simms
Edited by John Caldwell Guilds
978-1-55728-624-6 (paper)
July 2001


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One of the most important volumes of short fiction published before the Civil War. The Wigwam and the Cabin represents William Gilmore Simms at his very best. It is the work that led Poe to say of Simms, “. . . in invention, in vigor, in movement, in the power of exciting interest, and in the artistical management of his themes, he has surpassed, we think, any of his countrymen.”Praised by critics on both sides of the Atlantic, The Wigwam and the Cabin focuses n the Southern frontier that Simms knew so well, a frontier whose vernacular, courage, humor, folklore, violence, injustice, and beauty are vividly brought to life through the strokes of his pen. “I have seen the life,” Simms wrote, “—have lived it—and much of my material . . . is the planter, the squatter, the Indian, the negro—the bold and hardy pioneer, the vigorous yeomen—these are the subjects.”

Simms’s portrayal of frontier life is the most realistic and graphic in all nineteenth-century American literature; and the Arkansas edition of The Wigwam and the Cabin, with Dr. Guilds’s fine editing and informative introduction, brings back into print an invaluable contribution to the development of the short story in America.

The University of Arkansas Press edition of the Selected Fiction of William Gilmore Simms has as its aim to publish the major novels and short fiction in reliable texts, together with scholarly introductions, annotations, and other matter useful to scholars, critics, and teachers of Simms’s work. Though not full-dress editions in the strictest sense, the volumes of the Arkansas Simms follow the conventions of scholarly editing by reprinting the last edition revised by Simms during his lifetime. Orthography, capitalization, and word division follow nineteenth-century practices, with no effort to modernize spelling or punctuation. Earlier volumes in the series have included both an introduction by Professor John C. Guilds, now the general editor emeritus, and a historical note and afterword by the editor of that particular volume. In the recent volumes the introduction, historical note, and afterword will be combined into a single introduction prepared by the volume editor.

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