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Wieland: A Turn-of-the-Century American Allegory

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DOI: 10.25236/lccie.2024.006


Lu Jin

Corresponding Author

Lu Jin


Based on James Yates Murders in 1781, Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland (1789) is an epistolary gothic novel concerning the mysterious tragedy of the Wieland family. As a self-conscious intellectual who was deeply concerned about the political design and practice of the new American Republic, Brown weaved his profound thoughts on partisan conflict, democratic despotism, and seditious rhetoricians into Wieland’s gothic plot. Wieland is not simply the first gothic novel in American literature, but a true political allegory reflecting post-revolutionary America’s contradiction and anxiety during the period of social transformation.


Wieland, Political Allegory, Partisan Conflict, Federalist Criticism, Seditious Rhetoricians