Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin

ISBN-10: 087338220X

ISBN-13: 9780873382205

Edition: 1987

List price: $22.95
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Description:

This first volume in Kent State University's Bicentennial Edition of the Novels and Related Works of Charles Brockden Brown presents critical texts of Brown's first published novel, Wieland, and of the fragment, "Carwin," which he began in 1798 as a companion-piece to his novel. The texts are based on the first printings: the book edition of Wieland printed by T. and J. Swords in New York and published there by Hocquet Caritat in 1798, and the installments of "Carwin" that appeared in the Literary Magazine in Philadelphia in 1803, 1804, and 1805. The Historical Essay by Alexander Cowie, which follows the texts, discusses the facts surrounding the composition, publication, and reception of both works and their place in America's literary history, and the Textual Essay by S.W. Reid discusses the copy-texts for the present edition, the transmission of the texts, and the editorial decisions that have been based on these considerations. Also appended are photographs of the notebook pages containing Brown's "Outline" of Wieland, along with our transcription of it. Moreover, as the first in a series of volumes, this volume offers, as well, a note on the principles and procedures guiding the editing of all works in the Bicentennial Edition.
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Book details

List price: $22.95
Copyright year: 1987
Publisher: Kent State University Press
Publication date: 10/3/1987
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 310
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Charles Brockden Brown, the first full-time professional writer in the United States, is considered by many to be the nation's first important novelist. He is noted chiefly for having written four Gothic novels that prefigure one of America's most significant traditions, the kind of psychological-moralistic fiction written by Hawthorne, Poe, Henry James, William Faulkner, and Flannery O'Connor. Brown was also admired and imitated by such English writers such as Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Thomas Love Peacock. While Brown's texts displayed some of the indulgences inherent in the Gothic tradition, his work is notable for its inventive and sophisticated construction and for what Brown termed moral painting. Within four years, between 1789 and 1801, he published six novels. Wieland (1798), perhaps his best-known work, was based on an actual murder case in New York, but Brown was less interested in the sensational aspects than in the moral and psychological implications of the case. Ormand (1799) deals with an attempted seduction but is ultimately about the struggle of conflicting values. Arthur Mervyn (1799), the longest of Brown's novels, is a realistic account of the yellow fever plague that occurred in Philadelphia in 1733. Edgar Huntly (1799), though occasionally incredible, is a skillful interrogation of moral ambiguities and complexities. Before he abandoned novel writing for a career in journalism in 1804, Brown published two more novels, Clara Howard and Jane Talbot, both in 1801. Although for many years Brown's work received relatively limited attention, scholarly interest in his work has increased dramatically in the past 40 years. All of his fiction is once more in print, and carefully edited volumes of his works have recently been published by Kent State University Press. Brown died in 1810.

S. W. Reid is Professor of English and Director of the Center for Conrad Studies at Kent State University.

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