The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 30
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need not be argued here. If Brown himself had
been asked to whom among writers of fiction lie
owed moat, lie would have unfalteringly answered,
*To William Godwin, author of Caleb Williams.
or Thinns aa They Are«112
Ann fiadoliffe* s influence on Brown is not so great
as that of Godwin, hut without a doubt, Brown read her works
and was impressed* A Gothic novel seeks above everything
else to arouse the emotion of terror in the reader# Brown
certainly followed Radcllffe in this element. In the works
of both novelists, the incidents are terrible,
Wieland is a tale of terror not unlike The Mysteries of
Udolpho and The Italian* Carwin, a man of horror is closely
comparable to Ann Radoliffe^ Italian, Sohedonl, described
There was something terrible in his air,
something almost superhuman. His oowl, too, as it
threw a shade over the livid paleness of his face,
increased its severe character, and gave aa effect
to his large melancholy eye which approached to
extremely singular, and that cannot be easily de-
fined, It bore the traces of many passions, which
seemed to have fixed the features they no longer
animated. An habitual gloom and austerity pre-
vailed over the deep lines of his countenance, and
his eyes were so piercing that they seemed to
penetrate at a single glance into the hearts of men,
and to read their most secret thoughts.^
Here is Brown's picture of Carwin;
His cheeks were pallid and lank, his ©yes
sunken, his forehead overshadowed by course,
^%arren Barton Blake, "Brookden Brown and the Novel,"
The Sewanee Review. XVIII fJanuary-October, 1910), 431*
1%lelandt p. xxxix, quoting The Italian, by Radcllffe.
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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/m1/33/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .