The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 47
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One merit the writer may at least claim;
that of oalling forth the passions and engaging
the sympathy of the reader, by moans hitherto
unemployed by preceding authors. Puerile super-
stition and exploded manners; Gothic castles and
Indian hostility, and the perils of the western
wilderness, are far mora suitable; and, for a
native of America to overlook these, would admit
of no apology. These, therefore, are, in part,
the ingredients of this tale, and these ha has
been ambitious of depicting in vivid and faithful
colors* The success of his efforts must be
estimated by the liberal and candid reader.11
Although Brown discarded most of the devices used in the
English Gothic in favor of incidents of Indian hostility and
settings in the vilderness, there is little difference in the
ruggedness of Radcliffe's Alpine scenes and that of the wild
country-side along the Delaware Hiver. Here is one of Ann
The thunder sounded hollowly at a distance,
and the lightning was more frequent. Sometimes
it revealed the nearer recesses of the woods, or,
displaying some opening in their summits, illumined
the ground beneath with partial splendor, the thick
foliage of the trees preserving the surrounding
scene in deep shadow. . . .
She could not approach these woods without
experiencing keener sense of her danger. Their
deep silence, except when the wind swept among the
branches, and impenetrable gloom shown partially
by the sudden flash, and then by the red glare of
the torch, whioh served only to make darkness
visible, were circumstances that contributed to
renew all her most terrible apprehensions. . .
After traveling through the woods for nearly
an hour, during which the elements seemed to have
returned to repose, the travellers, gradually
ascending from the glen, found themselves upon the
open brow of a mountain, with a wide valley
^Edgar Huntly. p. xsiii.
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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/m1/50/: accessed February 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .