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Backwoods Tales

Paddy McGann, Sharp Snaffles, and Bill Bauldy

William Gilmore Simms, Introduction by Keen Butterworth, James L. W. West III, General Editor

Publication Year: 2010

The twelfth volume in the ongoing Arkansas Edition of the works of William Gilmore Simms, Backwoods Tales brings together three of the best examples of his comic writing. All were written during the last decade of Simms’s life, when he had become a master of his craft. These three tales belong in the tradition of southern backwoods humor, a genre that flourished before the Civil War and produced classic tales by such authors as George Washington Harris, Johnson Jones Hooper, and Thomas Bangs Thorpe. Paddy McGann, “Sharp Snaffles,” and “Bill Bauldy” are all frame tales, told by rustic narrators in authentic dialect, with frequent pauses for libation and comment. These three pieces of writing, never before published together, stand among the best examples of American humor of the nineteenth century.

Published by: University of Arkansas Press


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p. vii

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p. ix

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. ...


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pp. xi-xiv

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pp. xv-xxvi

This volume of the Arkansas Edition comprises the three best examples of Simms’s comic writing. All belong to the last decade of Simms’s life, when, nearing the end of a long and productive career, he had become master of his craft. ...

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Text of Paddy McGann;—or,—The Demon of the Stump.

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pp. 1-266

It was November, and the delicious season that we call the Indian Summer; when, after two or three smart white frosts, and possibly a little ice, the cool spell passes off; the winds grow calm, and modestly beseem themselves, the temperature becomes sweet and genial—neither too cold nor too warm; when, after a heavy fog each morning, ...

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Text of How Sharp Snaffles Got His Capital and Wife

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pp. 267-308

The day’s work was done, and a good day’s work it was. We had bagged a couple of fine bucks and a fat doe; and now we lay camped at the foot of the “Balsam Range” of mountains in North Carolina, preparing for our supper. We were a right merry group of seven; four professional hunters, and three amateurs—myself among the latter. ...

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Text of “Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,” and How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign!

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pp. 309-360

The second week was at an end. Saturday had come! We had toiled, successfully, all the week; but Saturday, had been our crowning glory. We had achieved two bucks, fat as shoats in a fine mast season, a huge she bear, a doe, and two wild turkey gobblers; and had come out, triumphantly, in a hand to hand fight with a saucy panther who gave us battle from the jump; ...


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pp. 361-378


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pp. 379-381

E-ISBN-13: 9781610750578
E-ISBN-10: 1610750578
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557289223
Print-ISBN-10: 1557289220

Page Count: 398
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 769187860
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Backwoods Tales

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Subject Headings

  • Southwestern States -- Fiction.
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