Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 –1864) was an American novelist and short story writer. Nathaniel Hathorne was born in 1804 in the city of Salem, Massachusetts. He later changed his name to "Hawthorne", adding a "w" to dissociate from relatives including John Hathorne, a judge during the Salem Witch Trials. Hawthorne attended Bowdoin College and graduated in 1825; his classmates included future president Franklin Pierce and future poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He worked at a Custom House and joined a Transcendentalist Utopian community.
Hawthorne is best known today for his many short stories (he called them "tales") and his four major romances written between 1850 and 1860: The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851), The Blithedale Romance (1852) and The Marble Faun (1860). Another novel-length romance, Fanshawe was published anonymously in 1828.
A political appointment took Hawthorne and family to Europe before their return to The Wayside in 1860. Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, leaving behind his wife and their three children.
Much of Hawthorne's writing centers around New England, many works featuring moral allegories with a Puritan inspiration. His fiction works are considered part of the Romantic movement and, more specifically, dark romanticism. His themes often center on the inherent evil and sin of humanity and his works often have moral messages and deep psychological complexity. His published works also includes a biography of his friend Franklin Pierce.
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A young woman, Hester Prynne, is led from the town prison with her infant daughter, Pearl, in her arms and the scarlet letter “A” on her breast. The scarlet letter “A” represents the act of adultery that she has committed; it is to be a symbol of her sin for all to see.
“The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and… becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.”
- The Village Uncle (2nd story)
- The Artist of the Beautiful (2nd story)
- Beneath An Umbrella (2nd story)
- The Birth Mark (2nd story)
- The British Matron (19th story)
- The Ocean (17th story)
- An Old Woman’s Tale (18th story)
- Rappaccini’s Daughter (6th story)
- Young Godman Brown (10th story)
A collection of four short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the common theme of which is New Hampshire's White Mountains
5. Tanglewood Tales - A colliction of stories from Greek Mythology
6. The Blithedale Romance - The story of four principal characters who work with -- and sometimes against -- each other on Blithedale, a communal farm reminiscent of one on which Hawthorne himself lived in 1841.
7. Rappaccini’s Daughter - Giovanni, a young student of letters, observes Beatrice, the beautiful daughter of Dr. Rappaccini, a scientist working in isolation. Beatrice is confined to the lush and locked gardens filled with poisonous plants by her father. Having fallen in love, Giovanni enters the garden and meets with Beatrice a number of times regardless of the warning of his mentor, Professor Baglioni, that Rappaccini is up to no good and he and his work should be avoided.
8. The Marble Faun - The Marble Faun is Hawthorne's most unusual romance. Hawthorne set his story in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. In the spring of 1858, Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in a Roman sculpture gallery. The theme, characteristic of Hawthorne, is guilt and the Fall of Man.
9. Our Old House - These essays, based on Hawthorne’s stay in England from 1853 to 1857 as American Consul in Liverpool, were first published in the form of a series of travel articles for The Atlantic Monthly. In these writings, he displays his humor, his empathetic nature, his pride in his country, and sometimes his sharp judgment of others. He shares with us the difficulties of being a consul in the 1850’s, takes us on a tour with him through rural England and Scotland, shows us the splendors of London, and the horrors of the poverty that so many suffered.