This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 in New York and so entered the decade of journalism which closed his life. He wrote, indeed, besides fragments of fiction, two other novels, Clara Howard (1801) and Jane Talbot (1801), but they lack his old vigour. In Jane Talbot he seemed to renounce Godwin; gradually he became subdued to humanity and lost his concern with romance. He returned to Philadelphia in 1800, where, two years later, he founded The literary magazine. The stolid orthodoxy of his prospectus makes it clear that he was no longer a philosopher of the old stamp, although he did write two acts of a tragedy for John Bernard, and, told the play would not act, burned the work and kept its ashes in a snuff-box. In November, 1804, he married Miss Elizabeth Linn of New York, and was thereafter an exemplary husband, father, and drudge, who produced pamphlets, large parts of his magazine, and practically the whole of the useful American Register (1807-11). The fame of his novels, of which he claimed to think little, became a legend, but new editions were not called for. In 1809 he was elected to honorary membership in the New York Historical Society, with such notables as Lindley Murray, Noah Webster, Benjamin Trumbull, Timothy Dwight, Josiah Quincy, and George Clinton. He died of consumption 19 February, 1810. In England he was well known for at least a generation. Blackwood's praised him with the fiery pen of John Neal; Scott borrowed from him the names of two characters in Guy Mannering; Godwin himself owed to Wieland a hint for Mandeville. In his native country Brown has stood, with occasional flickerings of interest, firmly fixed as a literary ancestor. There is little to note in American fiction between the close of Brown's career and the beginning of Cooper's. An absurd romance, The Asylum (1811), probably by Isaac Mitchell, was popular. Tabitha Tenny (1762-1837) produced a funny if robustious anti-romance, Female Quixotism (1808?); Samuel Woodworth1 mingled conventional history with conventional romance in The Champions of freedom (1816), which celebrated the second war with England. By this time the humane and thrilling art of Scott had already begun to be effective in America, as in Europe. At the first, however, Scott's peculiar qualities seemed to defy rivalry.
1 See also Book II, Chaps. II and V.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.