Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810) was an American novelist, historian and editor, who has been recognized as one of the first American novelists and an early proponent of the Gothic romance genre. Brown's works are a combination of his own Romantic imagination and the Enlightenment ideals of reason and realism, and are often characterized by elements of the sensational and violent. His work also reflects an interest in the early feminist movement, and frequently draws on Enlightenment-era medical writings by authors like Erasmus Darwin. "Wieland", Brown's most highly regarded novel, is deemed to be the first gothic novel by an American. This epistolary and highly psychological novel details the horrible events that befall siblings Clara and Theodore Wieland and their family. "Memoirs of Carwin, the Biloquist" was published in fragments in Brown's Literary Magazine later, and tells the story of Carwin prior to his involvement in "Wieland". The unfinished story of the bilingual ventriloquist clarifies some of the uncertainty surrounding his character in "Wieland".
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January 01, 2013
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