"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

William Gilmore Simms

This undated portrait of William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870) by an unknown artist hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"Novelist and poet William Gilmore Simms was a founder of a distinctly southern literary perspective, one that is influential in history and literature to this day. Simms spent his life writing, turning out a series of colorful novels as well as a substantial body of verse. He invested his fiction with local color and details of southern history, especially from the Revolutionary War period. Like Washington Irving, he adapted the style of Sir Walter Scott's historical novels to American narratives. Simms's writings were a conscious defense of southern civilization (including slavery) as humane, patriotic, and chivalric, especially in contrast to the cold capitalism of the North. This contrast, minus the defense of slavery, remains a staple of southern writing." -- National Portrait Gallery
The Brady-Handy collection at the Library of Congress has this ca.1860-1865 photo of Simms with an extravagant beard.

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