Nathaniel Hawthorne: Shmoop Biography

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Income from writing, however, was not enough to support his growing family, which by that time included two young children.

Hawthorne received a politically appointed job at the Salem Custom House, and the family moved to the city of his birth. Hawthorne worked at the job for three years, and then in June he learned that he was losing his position due to a political shakeup.

Nathaniel Hawthorne Biography

Six weeks after his firing, his mother died. Hawthorne fell into a deep depression tinged with fury toward his supervisors in Salem. He began to write a book into which he poured the rage he felt toward his fellow Salemites, recasting them instead as a hypocritical Puritan community.

It was "positively a hell-fired story, into which I found it impossible to throw any cheering light," 17 Hawthorne wrote later.

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In , he published the novel, entitled The Scarlet Letter. The subject of The Scarlet Letter was shocking—a married Puritan woman who has borne an illegitimate child by a lover she refuses to name, who is forced to wear a scarlet "A" on her clothes as a symbol of her adultery.


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Hawthorne's plot was gripping, with his characters being a damning indictment of hypocrisy. Hawthorne had a reputation for being aloof, standoffish, and painfully shy.

Wineapple's biography goes behind the stereotypes about Hawthorne's personality to reveal intimate moments in the writer's life. The writer Henry James wrote this biographical sketch of Hawthorne fifteen years after the writer's death.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

It remains one of the best books around about Hawthorne. James offers both critiques of the writer and a broader look at American culture.

Nathaniel Hawthorne - Famous Authors - Wiki Videos by Kinedio

Though Hawthorne later came to mock the earnestness of the American Transcendentalists in works like The Blithedale Romance , he was closely associated with many of the movement's leaders. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Twice Told Tales Hawthorne's first published short story collection established him as a writer to watch.

A Life Hawthorne had a reputation for being aloof, standoffish, and painfully shy. Henry James, Hawthorne The writer Henry James wrote this biographical sketch of Hawthorne fifteen years after the writer's death.