The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 42
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Or mm, completed in December, 1798, while Arthur Mervyn
was still la the making, had the yellov; fever used as the
background, but while the details are told with Brown's usual
realistio portraiture, the awful pestilence Is used only as
a means of heightening the difficulties of Constantia Dudley
and her father. Perhaps this fact accounts for Constantia's
combining the qualities of a real woman with those of an ideal
heroine. She is made to meet calamity with energy*
It was only natural that the Indian, who had played such
a conspicuous part in the wars of the last half of the eighteenth
century, should have attracted the attention of a writer with
a great imagination. Others had sensed literary possibilities
of the red man and had introduced him in magazine stories of
that day and in historical writings of the period, but the
distinction of first successfully utilizing the Indian as
fiction material really belongs to Brown. In his preface to
Bdp,ar Huntly, he tells the public that he wants to profit by
some of the numerous and inexhaustible sources of aauseiasttt
to the fancy and instruction to the heart peculiar to America,
and to exhibit a series of adventures growing out of the con-
ditions of the new country,7 He finds the incidents of Indian
hostility, and the perils of the vast western wilderness far
more suitable to his purposes than the Gothic oastles, trivial
^Edgar Huntly. p. xix.
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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/m1/45/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .