Ormond: Or, the Secret Witness / Edition 1 available in Paperback
Brown is often called the first American novelist. Originally published in 1799, Ormond was inspired by enlightenment philosophers and Gothic writers. The novel engages with many of the period’s popular debates about women’s education, marriage, and the morality of violence, while the plot revolves around the Gothic themes of seduction, murder, incest, impersonation, romance and disease. Set in post-revolutionary Philadelphia, Ormond examines the prospects of the struggling nation by tracing the experiences of Constantia, a young virtuous republican who struggles to survive when her father’s business is ruined by a confidence man, and her friends and neighbors are killed by a yellow fever epidemic.
About the Author
Mary Chapman, a professor in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia, has published on many aspects of American literature and culture.
Table of Contents
A Note on the Text
Charles Brockden Brown: A Brief Chronology
Ormond; or, The Secret Witness
Notes on the Appendices
Appendix A: Judith Sargent Murray’s “On the Equality of the Sexes” (1790)
Appendix B: From John Robison’s Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, Carried on in the Secret Meetings of Free Masons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies (1798)
Appendix C: Selections from Jedidiah Morse’s “A Sermon Exhibiting the Present Dangers, and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States” (1799)
Works Cited and Recommended Reading