Charles Brockden Brown is no longer as well known as some of his American contemporaries, but in his day he was widely lauded and regarded as the most important American novelist before James Fenimore Cooper. Brown's specialty was Gothic horror novels, the kind that would become extremely popular across the West during the early 19th century and influence subsequent authors like Poe and Hawthorne.
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Born in Philadelphia and raised in a Quaker family, Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810) wrote short stories, essays, poetry, reviews, and historical surveys. The most ambitious, prolific, and accomplished of America's early novelists, Brown is also the most frequently studied and published.
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