Wieland & Memoirs of Carwin. Charles Brockden Brown.

Wieland & Memoirs of Carwin

Charles Brockden Brown. Kent State University Press: 1977.

Brown is touted as the first American professional novelist. Wieland was first published in 1798, and by the early 1800’s, Brown started writing more articles and essays, since his novels weren’t doing too well.

Although Wieland is a gothic novel, it differs from the norm in a few ways. The woman’s romantic attachment is not the cause of all these horrors (nor her saviour from them), and although there is a special building, it is a garden pagoda, not a haunted house. There is a villain, of course, who creates seemingly supernatural events (through biloquism), but he is neither the murderer nor the sole cause of evil, as her brother turns out to have gone insane – or religiously inspired – and kills his family.

I liked the book, but was dissapointed in the epilogue which seems tacked on to an otherwise brilliant ending, just to give closure to a few points better left open