Ormond Or the Secret Witness, with Related Texts

ISBN-10: 1603841253

ISBN-13: 9781603841252

Edition: 2009

Authors: Charles Brockden Brown, Philip Barnard, Stephen Shapiro, Stephen Shapiro, Stephen Shapiro

List price: $20.00
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Description:

As it tells the story of Constantia Dudley, from her family¿s financial collapse to her encounters with a series of cosmopolitan revolutionaries and reactionaries, Charles Brockden Brown¿s Ormond; or The Secret Witness (1799) develops a sustained meditation on late-Enlightenment debates concerning political liberty, women¿s rights, gender roles, and their relation to the reshaping of an Atlantic world in the throes of transformation. This edition of Ormond includes Brown¿s Alcuin: A Dialogue (1798), an important Wollstonecraftian dialogue on women¿s rights and marriage, as well as his key essays on history and literature, along with selections from contemporary writings on women¿s education and revolutionary debates that figure in the novel¿s background and in the charged atmosphere of the late 1790s.
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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/15/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 488
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.386
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.

Stephen Shapiro lectures in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.

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