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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Epistolary writing finds expression everywhere in Charles Brockden Brown’s career. We see it in his praxis, as he writes epistolary novels, periodical essays, and letters. We also see Brown articulate a theoretical explanation for his devotion to the form in his actual correspondence and his fiction. A letter writer, unlike a narrator, self-consciously constructs identity as a textual performance. And letters, unlike prose narratives, draw conspicuous attention to communicative exchange and to the ways that communication links (and fails to link) individuals and groups across time and space. This chapter focuses on two longer sequences in Brown’s correspondence and the epistolary fragment the “Henrietta Letters” as source material for Brown’s epistolary praxis and theory.

Keywords: Charles Brockden Brown, epistolary writing, letters, epistolary novels, courtship, intimacy, plotlessness

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