Charles Brockden Brown

Charles Brockden Brown, 1771–1810, American novelist and editor, b. Philadelphia, considered the first professional American novelist. After the publication of Alcuin: A Dialogue (1798), he wrote such novels as Edgar Huntly (1799), Arthur Mervyn (2 vol., 1799–1800), and Ormond (1799), in which he presented arguments for social reform. Wieland (1799) was by far his most popular work and foreshadowed the psychological novel. To support himself after 1800 he became a merchant but also edited successively three periodicals, wrote political pamphlets, and projected a compendium on geography.

See B. Rosenthal, ed., Critical Essays on Charles Brockden (1981); A. Axelrod, Charles Brockden Brown: An American Tale (1983).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Charles Brockden Brown, Pioneer Voice of America
David Lee Clark.
Duke University Press, 1952
The Coincidental Art of Charles Brockden Brown
Norman S. Grabo.
University of North Carolina Press, 1981
Ormond
Charles Brockden Brown; Ernest Marchand.
American Book Company, 1937
Love and Death in the American Novel
Leslie A. Fiedler.
Stein and Day, 1966 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Charles Brockden Brown and the Invention of the American Gothic"
Columbia Literary History of the United States
Emory Elliott; Martha Banta; Terence Martin; David Minter; Marjorie Perloff; Daniel B. Shea.
Columbia University Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: "Charles Brockden Brown and Early American Fiction" begins on p. 168
The Plight of Feeling: Sympathy and Dissent in the Early American Novel
Julia A. Stern.
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "A Lady Who Sheds No Tears: Liberty, Contagion, and the Demise of Fraternity in Ormond"
Romances of the Republic: Women, the Family, and Violence in the Literature of the Early American Nation
Shirley Samuels.
Oxford University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Wieland: Alien and Infidel"
Literary Culture and U.S. Imperialism: From the Revolution to World War II
John Carlos Rowe.
Oxford University Press, 2000
Second Stories: The Politics of Language, Form, and Gender in Early American Fictions
Cynthia S. Jordan.
University of North Carolina Press, 1989
Sex and Sexuality in Early America
Merril D. Smith.
New York University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "'Imperfect Disclosures:' Cross-Dressing and Containment in Charles Brockden Brown's Ormond"
Sentimental Bodies: Sex, Gender, and Citizenship in the Early Republic
Bruce Burgett.
Princeton University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Masochism and Male Sentimentalism: Charles Brockden Brown's Clara Howard"
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