Edgar Huntly, Or, Memoirs of a Sleep-walker

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Kent State University Press, 1987 - Biography & Autobiography - 293 pages
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Often described as a "gothic novel," this is a classic American tale of mystery and murder with exciting and dramatic plot twists. Charles Brockden Brown is the most frequently studied and republished practitioner of the "early American novel," or the US novel between 1789 and roughly 1820. This volume contains a critical edition of Charles Brockden Brown's Edgar Huntly, the third of his novels to be published in 1799 and the first to deal with the American wilderness. The basis of the text is the first edition, printed and published by Hugh Maxwell in Philadelphia late in the year, but the "Fragment" printed independently in Brown's Monthly Magazine earlier in 1799 supplies some readings in Chapters 17-20. The Historical Essay, which follows the text, covers matters of composition, publication, historical background, and literary evaluation, and the Textual Essay discusses the transmission of the text, choice of copy-text, and editorial policy. A general textual statement for the entire edition appears in Volume I of the series.
 

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User Review  - markbstephenson - LibraryThing

This features some riveting action scenes and some ingenious plot surprises. The Irishman Clithero is a memorable but exceedingly problematical character. I got the impression that Brown brought this to an end in a semi-complete form, perhaps having tired of it. Read full review

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User Review  - aethercowboy - LibraryThing

I found this book to be particularly dry. While normally an astute reader whose triumphs include Finnegans Wake, Gravity's Rainbow, and Atlas Shrugged, I found it difficult to follow the narrative ... Read full review

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About the author (1987)

Charles Brockden Brown was born on January 17, 1771 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After he completed his schooling in 1787, he began apprenticing at the law offices of Alexander Wilcocks and pursued literary interests. When he was 18, he published his first literary works: the Rhapsodist sketches, which appeared anonymously in the Columbian Magazine, and a poem entitled An Inscription for General Washington's Tomb Stone, which appeared in the State Gazette of North Carolina. In 1793, he abandoned the law to attempt a life of letters. Within four years, between 1789 and 1801, he published six novels: Wieland, Ormand, Arthur Mervyn, Edgar Huntly, Clara Howard and Jane Talbot. He died of tuberculosis on February 22, 1810.

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