Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810) has earned a reputation as the early republic's most ambitious and accomplished literary figure. He wrote prolifically in many genres, founded and edited three major magazines, published widely-read political pamphlets, and intervened in many debates about the culture and politics of the new nation.
Brockden Brown is still mostly known for his novels, and for Alcuin (1798), his dialogue on women's rights, as these are the only texts currently available in scholarly editions. Not available are his letters, short fiction, poetry, as well as a rich collection of periodical publications that include important book, theater and music reviews, provocative philosophical essays, and numerous meditations on law, religion, nationhood, geography, history, literature, political economy, medicine, science, and sexuality.
The digital archive will make all Brockden Brown's works accessible to the reading public. Bucknell University Press, in conjunction with our partner The Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, will publish a substantial print edition of selected writings in seven volumes. These volumes will be experly edited and annotated by established scholars, and will be vetted and approved by the MLA committee on scholarly editions.
Volume 1, Letters and Early Epistolary Writings, edited by Philip Barnard, Elizabeth Hewitt, and Mark L. Kamrath, is currently in production and is scheduled for publication in Spring 2013. This edition offers Brockden Brown's complete correspondence. Dispersed across many different archives and mostly unpublished, the 179 letters and three instances of epistolary fiction will provide readers the first opportunity to read the epistolary work of this author. This volume reveals an intellectual whose epistolary prose is expansive, imaginative, and philosophical. Because the epistolary form is so central to Brown's own practices as a novelist, this volume is also crucial to making sense of his literary career.
A highly readable edited text that also scrupulously preserves the integrity of the original manuscripts and texts, the volume is organized chronologically. It also contains notes that clarify Brown's forgotten references, and a textual apparatus that establishes textual provenance and records emendations and end-line hyphenation. In addition, the volume’s historical essay, textual essay, and related materials offer extensive description of material history as well as of Brown’s correspondents.
The edition will be useful to literary historians and historians of the early republican period, since it offers details about Brown's own life and composition as well as details about social practice in Philaelphia and New York at the turn of the nineteenth century.
Volume 1: Letters and Early Epistolary Writings (2013)
Editors: Philip Barnard, Elizabeth Hewitt, Mark L. Kamrath
Volume 2: The Monthly Magazine and Other Writings, 1789-1802 (2016)
Editors: Michelle Burnham, Michael Drexler, Bryan Waterman
Volume 3: The Literary Magazine and Other Writings, 1803-1807 (2014)
Editors: Robert Battistini, Michael Cody, Karen Weyler
Volume 4: Political Pamphlets (2015)
Editors: Stephen Shapiro, Wil Verhoeven
Volume 5: Historical Sketches and Fragments (2015)
Editors: Philip Barnard, Julie Kim, Ed White
Volume 6: The American Register and Other Writings, 1807-1810 (2013)
Editors: Jared Gardner, Elizabeth Hewitt, Oliver Scheiding
Volume 7: Poems (2015)
Editors: Michael Cohen and Alexandra Socarides