Chapter

Professional Success, Personal Turmoil

James S. Humphreys

in Francis Butler Simkins

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032658
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039411 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813032658.003.0010
Professional Success, Personal Turmoil

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The 1930s and early 1940s had been a period of professional success and personal turmoil for Simkins. As he diligently researched, wrote, and lectured, he was forced to deal with the deaths of his mentor and his mother, and the failure of his marriage. These traumas, however, never deeply affected his professional life. As he had done in the past, Simkins demonstrated great resiliency in the face of setbacks. This resiliency was nurtured during his early life in Edgefield as he grew up in a poor family and dealt with an alcoholic father. It was also bequeathed to him by his mother, who struggled against challenges that would have broken a weaker woman. Simkins, too, struggled to accept the challenges that confronted him and, in doing so, improved his chances for future success. The writing of a mediocre book, The Women of the Confederacy, would be followed by intensive research, which resulted in an excellent biographical study of South Carolina's most celebrated politician of the post-Civil War period, and the ending of his relationship with Edna Chandler would be followed by a second marriage.

Keywords: Francis Butler Simkins; southern historians; American South; divorce; The Women of the Confederacy

Chapter.  8992 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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