Arthur Mervyn has long puzzled students and scholars with its seeming diffuseness, resulting from its original serial publication. Critics agree, however, that the power of this novel lies not so much in its portrait of “right virtue,” which was Brown's primary aim, as in its realistic descriptions of the yellow fever epidemic and the ensuing panic that swept Philadelphia in the summer of 1793. The ambiguities of Arthur Mervyn's character and the precarious nature of the revolutionary 1790s make this novel a particularly apt subject for lively discussion and future scholarship and make this revised edition an excellent classroom text.
The Kent State University Press is the publishing arm of Kent State University. Our imprint is controlled by an editorial board composed of Kent faculty scholars. As a member of the Association of American University Presses, the Press is included in the select group of more than 100 university-sponsored scholarly presses, whose outstanding programs make them an important segment of the academic and publishing communities.The Press began in 1965 under the direction of Howard Allen and published in the University faculty strengths in literary criticism. In 1972 Paul Rohmann became the Press’s second director and expanded the Press’s publishing program to include regional studies and ethnomusicology. In 1985 historian John Hubbell assumed the directorship and grew the staff and publishing program to include widely regarded lists in Civil War and Ohio history. Today, under director Will Underwood, the Press annually publishes two journals and 35 titles in history, literature, and regional studies that further knowledge of the humanities and preserve and promote a literate society.