Comprehensive Primary Bibliography
The Writings of Charles Brockden Brown, 1783-1822Introduction Publications Manuscripts Removed Items Abbreviations & Works Cited
This bibliography is a comprehensive effort, collectively undertaken by a team of scholars, to provide a listing of the writings of Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810). It lists the initial publications or manuscripts of all Brown's known writings, and revises and updates earlier attempts at bibliographies, notably those of Charles E. Bennett (1974, 1976) and Alfred Weber (1961, 1987, 1992, 2003). The bibliography's goal is to provide a listing of Brown's writings that will be as complete as possible, within the limits imposed by the question of attributing anonymous periodical texts. It serves as the basis for the ongoing Charles Brockden Brown Electronic Archive and Scholarly Edition, and as a general bibliography to be updated and revised in response to new scholarship.
The bibliography's initial version was the "Preliminary and Chronological Bibliography of Uncollected Writings" first developed in 2000 for the early stages of the Scholarly Edition by Alfred Weber and Wolfgang Schäfer, and subsequently revised and emended by Fritz Fleischmann (2001-03). We modify Weber-Schäfer-Fleischmann (WSF) in several ways, most fundamentally by aiming to include all of Brown's known writings, from his 1783 manuscript notes on Hume to the posthumous publication of his essay series "The Scribbler" in 1822. WSF listed only so-called "uncollected" writings, understood as periodical pieces, letters, and certain other publications and manuscripts that had not been previously edited or republished in modern form in the Kent State Bicentennial edition of the novels and related writings (1977-87), the Allen-Dunlap biographical miscellany (1811-1815) or other twentieth-century sources, e.g. the Warfel "Rhapsodist" collection (1943) or the Clark biography (1952).
In the absence of any attempt at a comprehensive bibliography after Bennett (1974), and in the absence of any widely available comprehensive bibliography of any sort, the Scholarly Edition project generated the need for and the collective desire to develop a bibliography that provides: a) a reliable and widely accessible listing of the entirety of Brown's writings; and b) a scholarly bibliography that can be maintained and updated to reflect new findings and evolving scholarly consensus on the attribution of anonymous publications.
Numbering System and Organization
The bibliography uses two types of 10-character item numbers (accession numbers) which together form one unified system.
For publications (about 900 items), the numbering system first proposed by Weber is retained here: item numbers indicate year of publication, followed by a hyphen and five digits indicating month + first page of text. Thus the item number for "The Rhapsodist, no. I" is 1789-08464: the text appeared in 1789, in August (08), beginning on page 464. In rare cases identical numbers occur for different texts, for example in the case of the six "Communications" from October, 1808. These items are distinguished by adding letters to the identical item numbers (e.g. 1808-10003a, 1808-10003b, etc.).
For manuscripts (231 items), the bibliography refers to three subcategories: Letters (category code L, 190 items), Poems (category code MP, 30 items), and Miscellaneous prose texts (category code MM, 11 items). These are numbered by year of publication, followed by a hyphen, a category code and 3 digits indicating the item's place in a consecutively numbered category list. Thus the item number for the first letter is 1788-L-001; for the first poem 1786-MP001; for the first miscellaneous prose item 1783-MM001.
Brown's extensive anonymous periodical publications and editorial work on three magazines filled with his own writing make it impossible to pretend to definitive attribution for many items; thus a comprehensive Brown bibliography necessarily remains open to change. As Sydney Krause observed in 1966 (29), there will never be a last word in Brown bibliography on this level, and Brown presents certain challenges in this respect. Nevertheless, the cumulative knowledge of the scholarly tradition has clarified and continues to clarify the status of a great number of items, such that inclusion in this bibliography signifies that an item is indisputably by Brown, or that previous scholarship and the Scholarly Edition editors ascribe it to Brown with a high degree of confidence.
To indicate a distinction between items in these two categories, a letter "A" (indisputable) or "B" (high degree of confidence) marks each publication. In the project's TEI electronic version of the bibliography, "A" and "B" correspond to "high" and "medium." Brown's periodical writing also includes a range of hybrid texts in which Brown excerpts, summarizes, and otherwise creatively edits and shapes other works while adding his own implicit or explicit commentary and contextual framing within each particular magazine issue. Such texts are marked "H" to correspond with "hybrid."
Additions, Deletions, and other Changes
Additions, deletions, and substantial changes to the initial WSF bibliography are tracked by the editors. Deletions from the initial version of bibliography, and new determinations of authorship for items not by Brown are moved to section III ("Items Removed"), with brief rationales. Because some of these deleted texts have received scholarly commentary as Brown's work or have been mistakenly listed in previous bibliographies as Brown's work; and because their identification may be useful in other ways (e.g., such items provide information about Brown's patterns of editorial borrowing), we list deletions with relevant source information rather than simply eliminating the item.
The advent of digital databases of eighteenth and nineteenth-century print materials has provided powerful new tools and opportunities for refining our understanding of Brown's editorial borrowings and for discovering which of Brown's magazine texts are borrowed and edited from other previous publications. Checking texts attributed to Brown against these databases, as part of the ongoing editorial work for the Scholarly Edition, has allowed this bibliography to establish a far more accurate account of the shape of Brown's corpus, and of his editorial practices, than was possible in previous scholarly generations.
In order to incorporate new information, the bibliography will be updated periodically throughout the duration of the Scholarly Edition project.
The bibliography is a collective project that welcomes contributions and corrections. To contact us with relevant information, please email Philip Barnard (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark Kamrath (email@example.com).
Finally, note that while this bibliography lists republications and different versions of texts published under Brown's supervision (however desultory) during his own lifetime or for the first time in the Allen-Dunlap biography or other periodicals in the years immediately following Brown's death (e.g. serialized portions of the novels, as well as their first publication in book form), it does not extend to republications after Allen-Dunlap or in England. Items identified in this bibliography thus constitute the earliest versions and, for editorial purposes, in virtually all cases, the copy-texts of Brown's writings.
~ Philip Barnard
June 1, 2011
(initial version August 2007)
- Barnard, Philip (University of Kansas)
- Battistini, Robert (Centenary College)
- Burnham, Michelle (Santa Clara University)
- Cody, Michael (Eastern Tennessee State University)
- Ellis, Scott (Southern Connecticut State University)
- Fleischmann, Fritz (Babson College)
- Gardner, Jared (Ohio State University)
- Holmes, John (Franciscan University)
- Kamrath, Mark (University of Central Florida)
- Schäfer, Wolfgang (Universität Tübingen)
- Scheiding, Oliver (Universität Mainz)
- Shapiro, Stephen (Warwick University)
- Verhoeven, Wil (University of Groningen)
- Waterman, Bryan (New York University)
- Weber, Alfred (formerly Universität Tübingen)
- White, Edward (Tulane University)