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Notes Introduction 1. “Annals of America,” American Register; or, General Repository of History, Politics, and Science (1809): 5:35. 2. William Dunlap, The Life of Charles Brockden Brown: Together with Selections from the Rarest of His Printed Works, from His Original Letters, and from His Manuscripts before Unpublished, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: James P. Parke, 1815), 2:88. 3. David Lee Clark, Charles Brockden Brown: Pioneer Voice of America (1952; repr., New York: AMS Press, 1966), 292. 4. Brown’s father, Elijah, copied this obituary into his journal: ms. Am 03399, number 10, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He notes incorrectly at the bottom of the page: “The above is from the pen of one of his particular literary friends in New York, A. Mecker,” [1]. Daniel Edwards Kennedy writes in his unpublished biography that “the name is doubtless an error for Anthony L. Bleecker.” Kennedy, “Charles Brockden Brown: His Life and Works,” ms., Charles Brockden Brown Collection, Kent State Univ., folder 49, 1989. 5. Kennedy notes that this obituary is possibly by Anthony Bleecker or “elaborated by the new editor from the shorter one by him” in the preface to the American Register (1991), and Clark reproduces the obituary in Charles Brockden Brown (292–94). An earlier handwritten draft version, which also gives the year of Brown’s death as 1809, exists in the Charles Brockden Brown Papers, 1742–1810, at the Harry Ransom Center at the Univ. of Texas–Austin. The obituary is cataloged as “[Obituary of Charles Brockden Brown]” and listed as being written by an “unidentified author.” If Bleecker did not compose it, the incorrect date of Brown’s death was, as Kennedy suggests, most likely corrected by the editor of the American Register. 6. Clark, Charles Brockden Brown, 293. 7. The terms “annalist,” “chronicler,” and “historian” have different meanings historically . Annals such as that written by St. Gall during the medieval period are simply a list of events recorded by a contemporary, for example. “709. Hard winter. Duke Gottfried died.” A chronicle, however, tended to summarize events on the basis of several annals and could take the form of a personal narrative. History, of course, uses the same materials but is distinguished by its literary style and qualities of analysis and judgment. See Harry Elmer Barnes, A History of Historical Writing, 2d ed. (New York: Dover, 1962), 65–67. Since by Brown’s day the term “annals” generally referred to a descriptive account or history of successive years, I use the terms “annalist” and “historian” interchangeably. Brown’s narrative is at once contemporary and of the past, and it is both narrative and the artful selection of historical events and documents. 265 Kamrath text.indb 265 3/2/10 1:26:49 PM 8. In the nineteenth century, says David S. Reynolds, George Lippard (1822–54) was a cultural, political, and literary “radical” who admired Brown’s work (introduction, 2). Like Brown, he was a Philadelphian and chose novel writing over the law. He dedicated The Monks of Monk Hall to Brown and wrote a eulogy seeking to rescue Brown from an obscure burial place and move his body to Laurel Hill Cemetery (268). Lippard wrote that Brown’s novels were read by “tens of thousands” in England and that “men like Godwin or Bulwer, or even the crabbed Editor of a Scotch Review, hold this Philadelphia Novelist in high estimation, as a man of remarkable and original genius” (271). Reynolds, George Lippard, Prophet of Protest: Writings of an American Radical, 1822–1854 (New York: Peter Lang, 1986). 9. Representative cold war literary or New Critical statements situating Brown as a moderately interesting but aesthetically suspect writer appear in Alexander Cowie, The Rise of the American Novel (New York: American Book Company, 1951) and Richard Chase, The American Novel and Its Tradition (New York: Doubleday, 1957). Perhaps the most prescient cold war commentary is that of Leslie Fiedler, who situates Brown as an “anti-bourgeois” writer whose discursive strategies are subordinated to cultural work concerning emerging categories of gender and selfhood. Fiedler, Love and Death in the American Novel, rev. ed. (New York: Stein and Day, 1966), 98–104, 145–61. 10. William Charvat and Frank Luther Mott can be said to have been least impressed with Brown’s history writing. Charvat, in his well-known study, The Profession of Authorship in America, 1800‑1870, ed. by Matthew J. Bruccoli (Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press, 1968), remarks that Brown’s lack of success as a novelist...


Subject Headings

  • Historicism in literature
  • United States -- In literature
  • Brown, Charles Brockden, 1771-1810 -- Knowledge -- History.
  • History in literature.
  • Brown, Charles Brockden, -- 1771-1810 -- Criticism and interpretation.
  • United States -- History -- Philosophy.
  • Brown, Charles Brockden, 1771-1810 -- Knowledge -- United States.
  • Literature and history -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
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