Edgar Huntly - Wikipedia

Edgar Huntly: Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker Study Guide.



Edgar Huntly: Or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker

One of the first American Gothic novels, Edgar Huntly (1787) mirrors the social and political temperaments of the postrevolutionary United States. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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One of the first American Gothic novels, Edgar Huntly (1787) mirrors the social and political temperaments of the postrevolutionary United States. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

One of the first American Gothic novels, Edgar Huntly (1787) mirrors the social and political temperaments of the postrevolutionary United States. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

As one of the premier rare book sites on the Internet, Alibris has thousands of rare books, first editions, and signed books available.

With one of the largest book inventories in the world, find the book you are looking for. To help, we provided some of our favorites.

With an active marketplace of over 175 million items , use the Alibris Advanced Search Page to find any item you are looking for.

Through the Advanced Search Page , you can find items by searching specific terms such as Title, Author, Subject, ISBN, etc or you can narrow your focus using our amazing set of criteria parameters.

With an active marketplace of over 175 million items , use the Alibris Advanced Search Page to find any item you are looking for.

Through the Advanced Search , you can find items by searching specific terms such as Title, Artist, Song Title, Genre, etc or you can narrow your focus using our amazing set of criteria parameters.

I sit down, my friend, to comply with thy request. At length does the impetuosity of my fears, the transports of my wonder, permit me to recollect my promise and perform it. At length am I somewhat delivered from suspense and from tremors. At length the drama is brought to an imperfect close, and the series of events that absorbed my faculties, that hurried away my attention, has terminated in repose.

Till now, to hold a steadfast pen was impossible; to disengage my senses from the scene that was passing or approaching; to forbear to grasp at futurity; to suffer so much thought to wander from the purpose which engrossed my fears and my hopes, could not be.

Oh, why art thou away at a time like this. Wert thou present, the office to which my pen is so inadequate would easily be executed by my tongue. Accents can scarcely be too rapid; or that which words should fail to convey, my looks and gestures would suffice to communicate. But I know thy coming is impossible. To leave this spot is equally beyond my power. To keep thee in ignorance of what has happened would justly offend thee. There is no method of informing thee except by letter, and this method must I, therefore, adopt.

How short is the period that has elapsed since thou and I parted, and yet how full of tumult and dismay has been my soul during that period! What light has burst upon my ignorance of myself and of mankind! How sudden and enormous the transition from uncertainty to knowledge!

But let me recall my thoughts; let me struggle for so much composure as will permit my pen to trace intelligible characters. Let me place in order the incidents that are to compose my tale. I need not call on thee to listen. The fate of Waldegrave was as fertile of torment to thee as to me. His bloody and mysterious catastrophe equally awakened thy grief, thy revenge, and thy curiosity. Thou wilt catch from my story every horror and every sympathy which it paints. Thou wilt shudder with my foreboding and dissolve with my tears. As the sister of my friend, and as one who honours me with her affection, thou wilt share in all my tasks and all my dangers.

You need not be reminded with what reluctance I left you. To reach this place by evening was impossible, unless I had set out early in the morning; but your society was too precious not to be enjoyed to the last moment. It was indispensable to be here on Tuesday, but my duty required no more than that I should arrive by sunrise on that day. To travel during the night was productive of no formidable inconvenience. The air was likely to be frosty and sharp, but these would not incommode one who walked with speed. A nocturnal journey in districts so romantic and wild as these, through which lay my road, was more congenial to my temper than a noonday ramble.

One of the first American Gothic novels, Edgar Huntly (1787) mirrors the social and political temperaments of the postrevolutionary United States. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

As one of the premier rare book sites on the Internet, Alibris has thousands of rare books, first editions, and signed books available.

With one of the largest book inventories in the world, find the book you are looking for. To help, we provided some of our favorites.

With an active marketplace of over 175 million items , use the Alibris Advanced Search Page to find any item you are looking for.

Through the Advanced Search Page , you can find items by searching specific terms such as Title, Author, Subject, ISBN, etc or you can narrow your focus using our amazing set of criteria parameters.

With an active marketplace of over 175 million items , use the Alibris Advanced Search Page to find any item you are looking for.

Through the Advanced Search , you can find items by searching specific terms such as Title, Artist, Song Title, Genre, etc or you can narrow your focus using our amazing set of criteria parameters.

I sit down, my friend, to comply with thy request. At length does the impetuosity of my fears, the transports of my wonder, permit me to recollect my promise and perform it. At length am I somewhat delivered from suspense and from tremors. At length the drama is brought to an imperfect close, and the series of events that absorbed my faculties, that hurried away my attention, has terminated in repose.

Till now, to hold a steadfast pen was impossible; to disengage my senses from the scene that was passing or approaching; to forbear to grasp at futurity; to suffer so much thought to wander from the purpose which engrossed my fears and my hopes, could not be.

Oh, why art thou away at a time like this. Wert thou present, the office to which my pen is so inadequate would easily be executed by my tongue. Accents can scarcely be too rapid; or that which words should fail to convey, my looks and gestures would suffice to communicate. But I know thy coming is impossible. To leave this spot is equally beyond my power. To keep thee in ignorance of what has happened would justly offend thee. There is no method of informing thee except by letter, and this method must I, therefore, adopt.

How short is the period that has elapsed since thou and I parted, and yet how full of tumult and dismay has been my soul during that period! What light has burst upon my ignorance of myself and of mankind! How sudden and enormous the transition from uncertainty to knowledge!

But let me recall my thoughts; let me struggle for so much composure as will permit my pen to trace intelligible characters. Let me place in order the incidents that are to compose my tale. I need not call on thee to listen. The fate of Waldegrave was as fertile of torment to thee as to me. His bloody and mysterious catastrophe equally awakened thy grief, thy revenge, and thy curiosity. Thou wilt catch from my story every horror and every sympathy which it paints. Thou wilt shudder with my foreboding and dissolve with my tears. As the sister of my friend, and as one who honours me with her affection, thou wilt share in all my tasks and all my dangers.

You need not be reminded with what reluctance I left you. To reach this place by evening was impossible, unless I had set out early in the morning; but your society was too precious not to be enjoyed to the last moment. It was indispensable to be here on Tuesday, but my duty required no more than that I should arrive by sunrise on that day. To travel during the night was productive of no formidable inconvenience. The air was likely to be frosty and sharp, but these would not incommode one who walked with speed. A nocturnal journey in districts so romantic and wild as these, through which lay my road, was more congenial to my temper than a noonday ramble.

Edgar Huntly: or, Memoirs of a Sleepwalker , published in 1799 by Charles Brockden Brown , is one of the earliest work of American fiction, and the first to depict the tense relationship between Americans and Indians on the frontier. Adopting but then adapting some of the European Gothic literary tradition, Brown replaced castles and crypts with the jagged mountains, deep vales, and echoing caverns of the hostile American wilderness.

Although the novel is in some ways a detective story, it is also very complex in its examination of gender relations, frontier violence, religious and ethnic clashes, and the complicated psychology of its titular character. One of the most famous literary critics, Leslie Fieldler, wrote that the novel is "the account of a young man who begins by looking for guilt in others and ends up finding it in himself; who starts out in search of answers but is finally satisfied with having defined a deeper riddle than those he attempted to solve."

Edgar Huntly came in the middle of an explosive literary output from Brown. The first volume was published in August/September, and was the fourth volume of Brown's to be published within the year. By 1801, two more books would be published.

Like his main character, Brown was a Quaker. He was intimately familiar with rebellions (the American Revolution, Haiti, Ireland), frontier violence, commerce and trade, and disputed land claims. Waldegrave was based off his close friend Elihu Hubbard Smith, a deist and an abolitionist who died prematurely.

Brown's writing took place in the context of his involvement with the New York group of The Friendly Club, comprised of males and females who valued progressive intellectual exchange and friendship. There, Brown was exposed to Enlightenment thought, but his novels always remained firmly rooted in the American experience. In the 1790s, the country was in upheaval over the Alien and Sedition Acts, as well as concomitant counter-subversive fears and fantasies about conspiratorial groups like the Illuminati. Gender tensions and issues over the extension of democracy created a threatening atmosphere in the new republic that was reflected in the text of Edgar Huntly .

One of the most discussed elements of Brown's book is its focus on sleepwalking. Brown read a great deal on the subject, collecting information through Smith's help, and then using it in several works. He also addressed the contemporary issues of imperialism, expansion of the frontier and the extermination of the Delaware, and Quaker involvement with the Irish and the Indians.



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