Dearest Beloved

Dearest Beloved

by T. Walter Herbert, Walter T. Herbert
     
 

The marriage of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne—for their contemporaries a model of true love and married happiness—was also a scene of revulsion and combat. T. Walter Herbert reveals the tragic conflicts beneath the Hawthorne's ideal of domestic fulfillment and shows how their marriage reflected the tensions within nineteenth-century society. In so doing

Overview


The marriage of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne—for their contemporaries a model of true love and married happiness—was also a scene of revulsion and combat. T. Walter Herbert reveals the tragic conflicts beneath the Hawthorne's ideal of domestic fulfillment and shows how their marriage reflected the tensions within nineteenth-century society. In so doing, he sheds new light on Hawthorne's fiction, with its obsessive themes of guilt and grief, balked feminism and homosexual seduction, adultery, patricide, and incest.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Herbert juxtaposes Hawthorne's marriage and his literature, showing how they shaped each other and how they reflect changes in 19th-century America. As in his Marquesan Encounters (LJ 1/1/81), Herbert draws significant passages from journals--in this case, Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne's extensive ``Family Notebook.'' Opening near the end, when the Hawthornes' marital relationship was particularly tense, the text is divided into four parts--each focusing on dilemmas in this family's life. Part 2 returns to the couple's childhoods in a then-emerging democratic society. Part 3 considers the psychology of their ideological values, and the final part relates Hawthorne's ordeal in Italy and his response to it. This work will be of interest to American literature and American studies scholars.-- Cathy Sabol, Northern Virginia Community Coll., Manassas

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520201552
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
03/01/1995
Series:
New Historicism: Studies in Cultural Poetics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
356
Product dimensions:
0.79(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Meet the Author


T. Walter Herbert is University Scholar and Brown Professor of English at Southwestern University. He is the author of Moby-Dick and Calvinism: A World Dismantled (1977) and Marquesan Encounters: Melville and the Meaning of Civilization (1980).

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