What is disputed by Keene is the purpose to which that money was put.
Hawthorne grew up in Salem but also spent time in Raymond, Maine where his mother owned property. His father, Captain Nathaniel Hathorne, Sr.
He himself recognized as his mother lay dying in that his relationship with her was not quite natural: For a long time, I knelt there, holding her hand; and surely it is the darkest hour I ever lived. After four years at Bowdoin, he returned to Salem in and began working on his first novel Fanshawe.
The novel was published shortly after inat his own expense, but Hawthorne disapproved of it and tried to destroy all copies. Although Hawthorne descended from a long line of sea captains, he decided against entering into the profession.
It is not known why he veered away from going to sea, but it is most likely because of the danger associated with the profession. Many of his sea-faring relatives died at sea, including his father. Hawthorne probably did not want to join them.
Nonetheless, he felt guilty for not following in the footsteps of his more prosperous ancestors, according to an autobiographical sketch he wrote for the introduction to the Scarlet Letter, which he titled The Custom-House: No aim, that I have ever cherished, would they recognize as laudable; no success of mine—if my life, beyond its domestic scope, had ever been brightened by success—would they deem otherwise than worthless, if not positively disgraceful.
What kind of a business in life—what mode of glorifying God, or being serviceable to mankind in his day and generation—may that be?
Why, the degenerate fellow might as well have been a fiddler! And yet, let them scorn me as they will, strong traits of their nature have intertwined themselves with mine. Nathaniel Hawthorne photographed by Mathew Brady circa The Hawthornes struggled with debt and a growing family and eventually returned to Salem in He held the job for a few years until he lost it when there was a change in the administration.
Hawthorne published his most well-known work, The Scarlet Letter, shortly after inbringing him fame and financial relief. InHawthorne purchased the Wayside from the Alcotts in Concord.
This home was the only house Hawthorne ever owned. The Hawthorne Family Curse: William Hathorne was a local judge who earned a reputation for cruelly persecuting Quakers, most notably ordering the public whipping of Ann Coleman in In The Custom-House, an introductory sketch to the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel criticized both John and William Hathorne, apologized for their actions and asked for the curse to be lifted: The figure of that first ancestor, invested by family tradition with a dim and dusky grandeur, was present to my boyish imagination, as far back as I can remember.
It still haunts me, and induces a sort of home-feeling with the past, which I scarcely claim in reference to the present phase of the town. I seem to have a stronger claim to a residence here on account of this grave, bearded, sable-cloaked and steeple-crowned progenitor,—who came so early, with his Bible and his sword, and trode the unworn street with such a stately port, and made so large a figure, as a man of war and peace,—a stronger claim than for myself, whose name is seldom heard and my face hardly known.
He was a soldier, legislator, judge; he was a ruler in the Church; he had all the Puritanic traits, both good and evil.
He was likewise a bitter persecutor, as witness the Quakers, who have remembered him in their histories, and relate an incident of his hard severity towards a woman of their sect, which will last longer, it is to be feared, than any record of his better deeds, although these were many.
His son, too, inherited the persecuting spirit, and made himself so conspicuous in the martyrdom of the witches, that their blood may fairly be said to have left a stain upon him. So deep a stain, indeed, that his old dry bones, in the Charter Street burial-ground, must still retain it, if they have not crumbled utterly to dust!
I know not whether these ancestors of mine bethought themselves to repent, and ask pardon of Heaven for their cruelties; or whether they are now groaning under the heavy consequences of them, in another state of being. At all events, I, the present writer, as their representative, hereby take shame upon myself for their sakes, and pray that any curse incurred by them—as I have heard, and as the dreary and unprosperous condition of the race, for many a long year back, would argue to exist—may be now and henceforth removed.
It was slightly old-fashioned even when he wrote it. It is very deliberate, with measured rhythms, marked by formal decorum. It often prefers the abstract or generalized to the concrete or specific word.
While in Europe he wrote The Marble Faun, based on his sight-seeing experiences in Italy, and Our Old Home before moving back to his house in Concord in the early s.
Hawthorne suffered from poor health in the s and died in his sleep during a trip to the White Mountains with Franklin Pierce on May 19, He is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord.
University of Minnesota Press, The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne. University of Missouri Press, Rebecca is a freelance writer and history lover who got her start in journalism working for small-town newspapers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire after she graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.
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