Philadelphia: David McKay, Publisher. 1889. Early Printing. Hardcover. Early Edition. Octavo, original green cloth titled in gilt on spine panel. 263 pp. With a 21 page autobiographical memoir of the author, dated 1798, serving as a Foreword. Covers very slightly rubbed, a very good, clean copy. Very Good. Item #310546
¶ The first American Gothic novel, a thriller laid in Pennsylvania which includes death by spontaneous combustion, ventriloquism, an escape from an insane asylum and a multiple murder. His work influenced later American writers ranging from James Fenimore Cooper to Nathaniel Hawthorne. His impact on Edgar Allan Poe was considerable." - Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural. "Of his four Gothic novels, the first, WIELAND, is regarded as a masterpiece. It is easy to see that Brown was drawing on the work of Ann Radcliffe (THE MYSTERIES OF UDOLPHO was published four years earlier and M. G. Lewis (THE MONK appeared only two years earlier), but he was also a great originator. He substituted American settings and he brought in psychological horror to replace the flimsy and worn-out supernatural elements, founding a school of American Gothic writing that was to influence Poe, Hawthorne, Melville and many others right up to the present day. Although not much read in England, Brown's novels were very influential upon Mary Shelley (his four Gothic novels were said to be among her six favorite books) and were read by John Keats and Sir Walter Scott." - Pringle (ed), St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost & Gothic Writers.