Charles Brockden Brown was an American novelist, historian, and editor of the Early National period. He is generally regarded by scholars as the most important American novelist before James Fenimore Cooper. He is the most frequently studied and republished practitioner of the "early American novel," or the U.S. novel between 1789 and roughly 1820. Although Brown was not the first American novelist, as some early criticism claimed, the breadth and complexity of his achievement as a writer in multiple genres (novels, short stories, essays and periodical writings, poetry, historiography, and reviews) makes him a crucial figure in U.S. literature and culture of the 1790s, and the first decade of the 19th century. Brown was a significant public intellectual in the wider Atlantic print culture and public sphere of the era of the French Revolution.