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ORESTES A. BROWNSON
VIRGIL G. MICHEL, O. S. B.
Submitted to the Faculty of Letters of the Catholic University
of America in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
WASHINGTON, D. C.
The material for this study of Brownson's critical principles consists of his essays on topics pertaining to literature and art. These essays first appeared in the pages of Brownson's Quarterly Review. In the edition of Brownson's Works compiled by his son, they constitute volume xix, which is entitled Literary Essays. Two or three critical essays found in volume xx of the collected Works tend merely to confirm the opinions expressed in the Literary Essays, and the references to Brownson's views in this dissertation have therefore been confined to the latter volume. These references are indicated in the body of the dissertation by giving in parenthesis the respective page numbers and the volume number, xix.
Brownson's writings have been chosen as a subject for study because they are always thought-inspiring even when consent to the opinions expressed in them cannot be given, because they lend themselves admirably to thorough treatment, and because their almost total neglect at present, in striking contrast to the wide notice that was accorded them formerly, seems to indicate a rather undeserved fate.
For anyone interested in Brownson, the first part of this dissertation, which is expository, will be of greater interest than the second part, if not of sole interest. For the writer and his purpose, however, the second part, which is a destructive and constructive criticism of the first, is far more important; and therefore it takes up the larger portion of the dissertation.
The bibliography on Brownson aims at being complete and omits only the many encyclopedia articles in various languages, and the many books that contain little more than a reference to him in one form or another. The second section of the bibliography includes only the works that were directly suggestive in the formulation of the writer's views.
The writer wishes to express his appreciation of the patient and scholarly guidance of Professor P. J. Lennox, under whom he performed his major work at the University and wrote this dissertation.