Charles Brockden Brown, 1771-1810


Biographical note

Brown, Charles Brockden (1771–1810). — Novelist, born in Philadelphia, belonged to a Quaker family, became a lawyer, but exchanged law for literature, and has the distinction of being the first American to adopt a purely literary career. He wrote several novels, including Wieland (1798), Ormond (1799), Arthur Mervyn (1800–1), and his last, Jane Talbot (1801). With a good deal of crudeness and sentimentality he has occasional power, but dwells too much on the horrible and repulsive, the result, perhaps, of the morbidity produced by the ill-health from which he all his life suffered.

[From A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature by John W. Cousin, 1910]

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