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"A light proceeding from the edifice made every part of the scene visible. A gleam diffused itself over the intermediate space, and instantly a loud report, like the explosion of a mine, followed. She uttered an involuntary shriek, but the new sounds that greeted her ear, quickly conquered her surprise. They were piercing shrieks, and uttered without intermission. The gleams which had diffused themselves far and wide were in a moment withdrawn, but the interior of the edifice was filled with rays." -- From Weiland, by Charles Brockden Brown
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Charles Brockden Brown (1771 - 1810), an American novelist, historian and editor of the Early National period, is generally regarded by scholars as the most important American novelist before James Fenimore Cooper. He is the most frequently studied and republished practitioner of the "early American novel," or the US novel between 1789 and roughly 1820. Although Brown was not the first American novelist, as some early criticism claimed, the breadth and complexity of his achievement as a writer in multiple genres (novels, short stories, essays and periodical writings of every sort, poetry, historiography, reviews) makes him a crucial figure in US literature and culture of the 1790s and first decade of the 19th century and a significant public intellectual in the wider Atlantic print culture and public sphere of the era of the French Revolution.
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