The Romance of Real Life: Charles Brockden Brown and the Origins of American Culture

Steven Watts

Originally published in 1994. This study aims to reconstruct historically the life and writings of Charles Brockden Brown in terms of their cultural connection.

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Book Information

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 12/01/2019
Pages: 274
ISBN-13: 9781421436029
ISBN-10: 1421436027
Language: English

Full Description

Originally published in 1994. This study aims to reconstruct historically the life and writings of Charles Brockden Brown in terms of their cultural connection. Watts examines in detail Brown's early and later writings. By looking at these often-neglected works more closely, he offers a new perspective on the well-known novels from the late 1790s. Watts's synthetic look at genre as well as chronology reveals broader connections between Brown's literature and American society and culture in the decades of the early republic. Furthermore, Watts situates Brown's writings in terms of the interplay of text, context, and the self, with each factor recognized as mutually shaping the others. The Romance of Real Life incorporates sensitivity to the "social history of ideas," in which both the form and content of language remain rooted in the material experience of real life.

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