Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne in the 1860s
Born July 4, 1804(1804-07-04)
Salem, Massachusetts
Died May 19, 1864(1864-05-19) (aged 59)
Plymouth, New Hampshire

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American writer. He was born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. His first novel Fanshawe was published anonymously in 1828. Some short stories were published in 1837 as Twice-Told Tales. He married Sophia Peabody in 1842. They had three children. The family moved about Massachusetts for a few years, but finally settled in Concord, Massachusetts. The Scarlet Letter was published in 1850. The House of the Seven Gables was published in 1851. A political appointment sent Hawthorne and his family to Europe. They returned to Massachusetts in 1860. Hawthorne died on 19 May 1864.

Hawthorne's works belong to the cultural movement called romanticism.[1] His novels and short stories are cautionary tales. They suggest that guilt, sin, and evil are the most inherent natural qualities of humanity.[2] Many of his works are inspired by Puritan New England.[3] They combine historical romance loaded with symbolism and deep psychological themes. They border upon surrealism.[4] His depictions of the past are a version of historical fiction used only as a vehicle to express common themes of ancestral sin, guilt and retribution.[5]

Selected works[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Reynolds, David S. Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1988: 524. ISBN 0-674-06565-4
  2. Wayne, Tiffany K. "Nathaniel Hawthorne", Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2006: 140. ISBN 0-8160-5626-9.
  3. Bell, Michael Davitt. Hawthorne and the Historical Romance of New England. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1980: 173. ISBN 0-691-06136-X
  4. Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007: 633. ISBN 978-0-19-507894-7.
  5. Crews, 28–29