The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 23
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little spinster villainess. Brown seemed to be escaping from
the influence of the tale of terror and began indulging is
the analytical study.
Brown prides himself on "calling forth the passions and
engaging the sympathy of the reader by means not hitherto
employed by puerile superstitions and exploded manners, Gothic
castles and chimeras."1° Notwithstanding this lofty scorn
for "Gothic castles and chimeras" Brown condesoended to take
over from Inn Radcliffe the device of introducing apparently
supernatural occurrences which are finally explained as
natural. His conscience forbade him to thrust upon his readers
spectres in which he did not believe himself.
Strong and original as was Brown1s work it did not lead
to the establishment of a school in American fiction. The
only one of his contemporaries who showed any disposition to
follow in his footsteps was George Wattarston, whose first
story was The Lawyer, or Man as He Ought Not to Be, published
in 1608. His second story, Glencarn. or the Disappointments
of Youth, was published in 1810 and showed even more traces
of Brown's Influence.
The Asylum, or Alonzo and Melissa by X. Mitchell, previously
mentioned, appeared in the year after Browns death. It was a
romance in the true "Radcliffian spirit." The effect of the
"^Brown, Edgar Huntly. p. xix.
^Loshe, 0£. cit., pp. 51-52.
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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/m1/26/: accessed March 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .