William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870) was a poet, novelist and historian from the American South whose novels achieved great prominence during the 19th century, with Edgar Allan Poe pronouncing him the best novelist America had ever produced. He first wrote poetry at the age of eight, and in his 19th year he produced a monody on Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1825). Two years later, in 1827, Lyrical and Other Poems and Early Lays appeared. He then published Tile Vision of Cones, Cain and Other Poems (1829), The Tricolor; or, Three Days of Blood in Paris (1830) and his strongest poem, Atalantis: A Tale of the Sea (1832). His novel Martin Faber, an expanded version of an earlier short story called The Confessions of a Murderer, was published in 1833 and made Simms known to a national audience. He was one of the best, and most respected, historians of his day. His History of South Carolina (1842) served for several generations as the standard school textbook on the state's history. Other works include: The Yemassee (1835), Vasconselos (1853) and The Cassique of Kiawah (1859).