The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 6
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to tales of thirty thousand wordsThese ohapbooks with
nameless authors derived their nam® from their selling price,
seventy-two pages for a shilling.
Both the Gothic not el an# the ohapbooks are characterized
fey looseness in plot construction, fhe stories., following; the
pattern of the novels, fall into two groups, There are those
whose setting la a Oothio castle patterned after fhe Castle
of Otranto and The Mysteries of Molpho, The other group
follows such stories as fhe Monk and fhe Italian, their
setting feeing a monastery or a convent Contributing to the
loose plot is the appearance of new characters who often give
a lengthy life history* Consequently, there is confusion and
the events seem carelessly strung together. Often members of
a family are scattered all over the face of the earth at the
beginning of a story ant the gradual drawing them into the
main setting is tedious and confusing. Others, who hairs been
living near each other for a lifetime, find, in the end, that
they are brother and sister,15 sub-plots running along with
the ma^or plot complicate the events in ©any of the novels
L#wis s fhe Monk is a typical eMaple of plot structure
of the Gothic novels. Although the main plot concerns Aaferosio,
^willlaja. W. Watt, Shilling Shockers of the Gothic
Sohool. p. 11,
14Watt, 0£, olt., p. 21,
^Xbld., pp. 46-47,
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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/m1/9/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .