Private property : Charles Brockden Brown's Gendered Economics of Virtue


Private property : Charles Brockden Brown's Gendered Economics of Virtue



By Elizabeth Jane Wall Hinds, College at Brockport faculty member.

Private Property explores Charles Brockden Brown's novels Wieland, Ormond, Arthur Mervyn, and Edgar Huntly; his dialogue on women's rights, Alcuin; and a few less well-known works such as "The Man at Home" series of essays and "Carwin, the Biloquist," with attention to Brown's differentiation of gender in economic matters. Author Elizabeth Jane Wall Hinds takes on the terms of economic positioning in these works, suggesting that Brown's fictional women look nothing at all like his men within the republicanism that was growing to embrace an emerging capitalism during the American 1780s and 1790s. The new economic realities of this era contained the seeds of a changing definition of virtue, a definition suited to an economically defined and specifically capitalist male citizen operating in an increasingly large public space of activity. At the same time, an emerging "cult of domesticity" came to define the virtue of women within the growing U.S. capitalist economy.



Publication Date


Publication Information

Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, 1997.

190 p. ; 24 cm.


American Literature




Located in Drake Library at: PS1138.E25 H56 1997

CONTENTS: Private property: economics and gender in the 1790s -- Private undertakings: the double virtues of Ormond, or The secret witness -- Arthur Mervyn: Adam Smith and the American boy -- Wieland: accounting for the past -- Brown's revenge tragedy: Edgar Huntly and the uses of property.