Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Hawthorne, Nathaniel (1804-64), was born of a good New England family at Salem, Massachusetts. He was at Bowdoin College in Maine with Longfellow and Pierce, and very early began to note down his impressions. Though from the first he had made up his mind to become a man of letters, it was long before he made any way. Fanshawe, his first novel, published in 1828, failed. In the same year he became associated with Goodrich ("Peter Parley"), to whose periodical, The Token, he contributed, and for whom he edited several publications. The appreciation shown in England of Twice-Told Tales, which also won the approval of Longfellow, gave Hawthorne, in 1837, his first real recognition. Pecuniary success was still, however, wanting, and for two years the young author found it useful to fulfil the duties of weigher and gauger at Boston, the collector there being Bancroft the historian. Being deprived of this by the accession of the Whig party to power, he now went to live with George William Curtis, Margaret Fuller, and others in a community at Brook Farm (q.v.), the organiser of which was Dr. George Ripley. After living with tbem some months, Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody, and went to live in the old manse near Concord which he has immortalised. Here he remained four years, contributing to the Democratic Review, and living a very retired life. In Mosses from an Old Manse (1846) he has described the house and its surroundings, and has recorded the effect produced on his mind by its historical associations. From 1846 to 1850 he was again in the employment of the State, this time in the capacity of surveyor of customs at Salem. In his leisure hours he prepared materials for The Scarlet Letter, his masterpiece, which appeared in 1850, and effectually established its author's reputation. Thus encouraged he entered upon the period of his greatest activity, producing in 1851 The House of the Seven Gables, and in 1852 The Snow Image and The Blithedale Romance, the last being reminiscent of his experiences at Brook Farm. He also wrote a children's book, The Wonder Book, and afterwards, as a continuation, Tanglewood Tales. He was, moreover, induced to write a biography of his friend Franklin Pierce, who, at the end of 1852, was the successful Democratic candidate for the Presidency. Hawthorne had declared that he would accept no office if his friend were elected, but he was ultimately persuaded to accept the position of consul at Liverpool, where he remained from 1853 to 1857. He then visited France and Italy, and published in 1860 The Marble Faun, written while staying in Yorkshire. After his return to America he wrote some papers for the Atlantic Monthly, which were published in 1863 in book-form as Our Old Home. This was his last completed work, and he died at Plymouth in New-Hampshire, whither he had gone with ex-President Pierce early in 1864. He was buried at Concord. Two versions of the romance he had left in MSS. subsequently appeared: the one under the title Septimius Felton, under the editorship of his elder daughter with the assistance of Browning; the other, called Dr. Grimshaw's Secret, was prepared by his son Julian. Hawthorne is not only the first of American novelists; he is also one of the first stylists of the Anglo-Saxon race. His son, Julian, born at Boston in 1846, though a clever writer, has inherited but a small portion of his father's power. After finishing his education at Harvard, he passed some years as an engineer at Dresden, but finally became a novelist. Garter, Sebastian Strome, and Dust are the names of some of his chief works. From 1875 to 1881 he lived in England.