The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 19
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literature, and laws should be home-made. Ardent patriots
set themselves to the task of portraying American maimers la
the literature. Consequently the new spirit of national
self-consciousness combined with gradual cessation of the
Puritan spirit to sake the last ten years of the eighteenth
oentury one of novel writing, as well as of novel reading.
The first narrative of any coaseqaencf in Aaerica was
Sarah Wentworth Morton*s The Power of Sympathy, published la
1769* In a solemn preface the author declared her purpose
wto expos© the dangerous consequences of seduction,n and in
terns of Christian aeal dedicated her novel to the young females
of America. Despite all its protestations of sanctity, the
book proved too seductive and was promptly suppressed#
Charlotte Temple. (1790) by Mrs. Susanna Rowson, a story of
seduction founded on fact, charmed more than one generation
of naive readers of fiction* Hannah Webster foster*® The
Coquette (1797) solemnized the pathetic career of Elizabeth
Whitman of Hartford. In the very year in which Charles Brockden
Brown*a first novel appeared, ffohn Davis gave to the world
The Original Letters of Ferdinand and Elizabeth. In this
narrative the heroine, in writing to her lover, expressed the
temper of American novels of that day. She writess "Corae to
me this nightI Bring with the© pistols, and when the clock
strikes twelve we'll both become immortal."5
^Charles Brockden Brown, gdgar Huntly, edited by David
Lee Clerk, pp. xil - xiv.
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Cannon, Willie Jim. The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown, thesis, 1950; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc130235/m1/22/: accessed March 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .