Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist

Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist

By Charles Brockden Brown; Emory Elliott (Editor)

Oxford University Press, USA, Paperback, 9780199538775, 294pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2009

One of the earliest major American novels, Wieland (1798) is a thrilling tale of suspense and intrigue set in rural Pennsylvania in the 1760s. Based on an actual case of a New York farmer who murdered his family, the novel employs Gothic devices and sensational elements such as spontaneous combustion, ventriloquism, and religious fanaticism. Also included is Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist, the unfinished sequel to Wieland, in which Brown considers power and manipulation while tracing Carwin's career as a disciple of the utopist Ludloe.
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About the Author
Charles Brockden Brown was an American novelist, historian, and editor of the Early National period. He is generally regarded by scholars as the most ambitious and accomplished American novelist before James Fenimore Cooper. Brown is the most frequently studied and republished practitioner of the "early American novel" and a significant public intellectual in the wider Atlantic print culture. Brown's novels are often characterized as Gothic fiction, although the model he develops is far from the Gothic romance mode of writers such as Ann Radcliffe. Wieland is the first as well as the most famous American Gothic novel.

Emory Elliott is University Professor of the University of California, Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California at Riverside, and Director of the Center for Ideas and Society.