The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 21
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followed in a faw years, the honor of leading the way la
the new field "belongs to the not el of the didactic tradition.
The period with whioh American fiction began was followed
by the popularity of the first really gifted American novelist,
Charles Brockden Brown, variously known as "The First American
Novelist,* "The Father of American Fiotion,* and "The First
American Man of Letters."
In 1797 in American fiction "the dairymaid and hired
man no longer weep over the ballad of the oruel stepmother,
but amuse themselves into an agreeable terror with the haunted
houses and hobgoblins of Mrs, Radoliffe."^ ja. The Asylum, or
Alonao and Melissa, published in Poughkeepsie in 1811, the
Gothic castle with its full equipment of * explained ghosts; 1
has been safely conveyed across the Atlantic and set up in
South Carolina . . ."7
Brown's literary career began in 1798 with his first
published novel, Wteland, which gives him his place in American
literature. It was evident at once that he belonged to the
Gothio School, because he employed the supernatural appearances,
the expiation of crimes and the working out of curses which
were the substance of The Castle of Otranto and The ]gj
of tJdolpho. two of the most typical of Gothic stories in
^Loshe. op* cit., quoting The Algerine Captive, by
Royall Tyler, p. 2X7 ~
^Birkheed, ojg. oit., p. 197•
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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/m1/24/: accessed March 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .