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Contribution to Book
Epistolarity, Anticipation, and Revolution in Clara Howard
English
  • Michelle Burnham, Santa Clara University
Document Type
Book Chapter
Publication Date
4-30-2004
Publisher
University of Tennessee Press
Abstract
In the critical hierarchy of Charles Brockden Brown's six published novels, Clara Howard has traditionally ranked dead last. While Brown's four socalled major novels have long been redeemed from aesthetic disdain and continue to receive increasing attention and acclaim, his last two novels are routinely bracketed off from this earlier work and described in derisive and dismissive terms, when they have not been ignored completely. Critics, moreover, seem to agree that of these two late epistolary romances, both published in 1801, Clara Howard is worse even than Jane Talbot. 1 From Mary Shelley's 1814 remark that Clara Howard is "very stupid" to Norman Grabo's 1981 characterization of it as "all breakdown; the only things left to collapse are the characters and our interest. And they do," critics have virtually delighted in condemning the book.2
Chapter of
Revising Charles Brockden Brown: Reconfiguring the Early American Republic
Editor
Philip Barnard
Mark Kamrath
Stephen Shapiro
Citation Information
Burnham, M. (2004). Epistolarity, Anticipation, and Revolution in Clara Howar. In P. Barnard, M. Kamrath, and S. Shapiro (Eds), Revising Charles Brockden Brown: Reconfiguring the Early American Republic(pp. 260-280). University of Tennessee Press.