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The first post-colonial society to develop a ‘national’ literature was the USA. The emergence of a distinctive American literature in the late eighteenth century raised inevitable questions about the relationship between literature and place, between literature and nationality, and particularly about the suitability of inherited literary forms. Ideas about new kinds of literature were part of the optimistic progression to nationhood because it seemed that this was one of the most potent areas in which to express difference from Britain. Writers like Charles Brockden Brown, who attempted to indigenize British forms like the gothic and the sentimental novel, soon realized that with the change in location and culture it was not possible to import form and concept without radical alteration (Fiedler 1960; Ringe 1966).