'Not so much written as dreamed': Quaker Dream-work in Charles Brockden Brown's Edgar Huntly
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The religious element of Charles Brockden Brown’s Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleep-walker (1799), and, specifically, the novel’s relationship with Quakerism, is often misunderstood, understated, or simply ignored by critics. In fact, Brown’s Quaker background—his devout parents, strict Quaker schooling, and a naturally inquiring mind when it came to religious matters—profoundly effected his work on many levels. Dream-work, the process of reciting and interpreting dreams, was an important way in which Quakers attempted to find meaning in their shared experience. This work attempts to redress this imbalance in current Brown criticism by resituating Edgar Huntly within a framework of Quaker dream-work and literary style.