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Hawthorne: Tales and Sketches


This volume offers what no reader has ever been able to find-an authoritative edition of all the tales and sketches of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-64) in a single comprehensive volume. Everything is included from his three books of stories, Twice-told Tales (1837, 1851), Mosses from an Old Manse (1846, 1854), The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-told Tales (1851), from his two books of stories for children based on classical myths, A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys (1852), and Tanglewood Tales (1853), and sixteen stories...
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This volume offers what no reader has ever been able to find-an authoritative edition of all the tales and sketches of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-64) in a single comprehensive volume. Everything is included from his three books of stories, Twice-told Tales (1837, 1851), Mosses from an Old Manse (1846, 1854), The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-told Tales (1851), from his two books of stories for children based on classical myths, A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys (1852), and Tanglewood Tales (1853), and sixteen stories not found in any of these volumes. The stories are arranged, as they never have been in any other edition, in the order of their periodical publication. Readers of Hawthorne will thereby get a unique sense of how he became one of the most powerful and experimental writers of American fiction.

Here are many familiar but always surprising works like "Young Goodman Brown," "Wakefield," "The Birth-mark," "The Artist of the Beautiful," "Rappaccini's Daughter," and "Ethan Brand." And here, too, are many others equally resonant with his major themes that deserve to be better known, like "Roger Malvin's Burial," a suspenseful story of guilt and parricide, "The May-Pole of Merry Mount," where the chances for human love are perilously suspended between the silken license of the revelers and the iron rectitude of the Puritans, between-to restate the conflict in terms that mattered deeply to Hawthorne as a writer-the rigors of allegory and the relaxing mythologies of pastoral. Here is the masterly tale "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," full of the pains and terrors of national and familial separations, the severing of the ties of blood and culture that united the colonies to England, along with the exquisite little story "The Wives of the Dead," about the ambiguities of love and loss, in which, as so often in Hawthorne, the reader at the end is left in a kind of awe at the multiple possibilities of meaning. To read these stories is to understand anew why Hawthorne is a great artist and an astonishingly contemporary one.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780940450035
  • Publisher: Library of America
  • Publication date: 5/28/1982
  • Series: Library of America Series
  • Pages: 1493
  • Sales rank: 261,490
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 1.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts, the son and grandson of proud New England seafarers. He lived in genteel poverty with his widowed mother and two young sisters in a house filled with Puritan ideals and family pride in a prosperous past. His boyhood was, in most respects, pleasant and normal. In 1825 he was graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and he returned to Salem determined to become a writer of short stories. For the next twelve years he was plagued with unhappiness and self-doubts as he struggled to master his craft. He finally secured some small measure of success with the publication of his Twice-Told Tales (1837). His marriage to Sophia Peabody in 1842 was a happy one. The Scarlet Letter (1850), which brought him immediate recognition, was followed by The House of the Seven Gables (1851). After serving four years as the American Consul in Liverpool, England, he traveled in Italy; he returned home to Massachusetts in 1860. Depressed, weary of writing, and failing in health, he died on May 19, 1864, at Plymouth, New Hampshire.


Nathaniel Hathorne, Jr., was born into an established New England puritan family on Independence Day, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts. After the sudden death of his father, he and his mother and sisters moved in with his mother's family in Salem. Nathaniel's early education was informal; he was home-schooled by tutors until he enrolled in Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Uninterested in conventional professions such as law, medicine, or the ministry, Nathaniel chose instead to rely "for support upon my pen." After graduation, he returned to his hometown, wrote short stories and sketches, and chanced the spelling of his surname to "Hawthorne." Hawthorne's coterie consisted of transcendentalist thinkers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Although he did not subscribe entirely to the group's philosophy, he lived for six months at Brook Farm, a cooperative living community the transcendentalists established in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

On July 9, 1942, Hawthorne married a follower of Emerson, Sophia Peabody, with whom he had a daughter, Una, and a son, Julian. The couple purchased a mansion in Concord, Massachusetts, that previously had been occupied by author Louisa May Alcott. Frequently in financial difficulty, Hawthorne worked at the custom houses in Salem and Boston to support his family and his writing. His peaceful life was interrupted when his college friend, Franklin Pierce, now president of the United States, appointed him U.S. consul at Liverpool, England, where he served for four years.

The publication of The Scarlet Letter in 1850 changed the way society viewed Puritanism. Considered his masterpiece, the novel focuses on Hawthorne's recurrent themes of sin, guilt, and punishment. Some critics have attributed his sense of guilt to his ancestors' connection with the persecution of Quakers in seventeenth-century New England and their prominent role in the Salem witchcraft trials in the 1690s.

On May 19, 1864, Hawthorne died in Plymouth, New Hampshire, leaving behind several unfinished novels that were published posthumously. He is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Scarlet Letter.

Good To Know

Hawthorne's birth name was actually Nathaniel Hathorne. It's rumored that he added a "w" to avoid being associated with his Puritan grandfather, Judge Hathorne -- who presided over the Salem Witch Trials.

Among Hawthorne's peers at Maine's Bowdoin College: author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Franklin Pierce, who would later become the country's 14th president.

In its first week of publication, The Scarlet Letter sold 4,000 copies.

Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, at the Pemigewasset House in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Ironically, former president Franklin Pierce had advised him to go there for his health.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      July 4, 1804
    2. Place of Birth:
      Salem, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      May 19, 1864
    2. Place of Death:
      Plymouth, New Hampshire
    1. Education:
      Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1824

Table of Contents

The Hollow of the Three Hills 7
Sir William Phips 12
Mrs. Hutchinson 18
An Old Woman's Tale 25
Dr. Bullivant 34
Sights from a Steeple 42
The Haunted Quack 49
The Wives of the Dead 61
My Kinsman, Major Molineux 68
Roger Malvin's Burial 88
The Gentle Boy 108
The Seven Vagabonds 139
The Canterbury Pilgrims 156
Sir William Pepperell 166
Passages from a Relinquished Work 174
Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe 188
The Haunted Mind 200
Alice Doane's Appeal 205
The Village Uncle 217
Little Annie's Ramble 228
The Gray Champion 236
My Visit to Niagara 244
Old News
II The Old French War 259
III The Old Tory 269
Young Goodman Brown 276
Wakefield 290
The Ambitious Guest 299
A Rill from the Town-Pump 308
The White Old Maid 314
The Vision of the Fountain 324
The Devil in Manuscript 330
Sketches from Memory 338
The Wedding-Knell 352
The May-Pole of Merry Mount 360
The Minister's Black Veil 371
Old Ticonderoga 385
A Visit to the Clerk of the Weather 390
Monsieur du Miroir 395
Mrs. Bullfrog 406
Sunday at Home 414
The Man of Adamant 421
David Swan 429
The Great Carbuncle 435
Fancy's Show Box 450
The Prophetic Pictures 456
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment 470
A Bell's Biography 480
Fragments from the Journal of a Solitary Man 487
Edward Fane's Rosebud 501
The Toll-Gatherer's Day 508
Sylph Etherege 514
Peter Goldthwaite's Treasure 522
Endicott and the Red Cross 542
Night Sketches 549
The Shaker Bridal 555
Foot-prints on the Sea-shore 561
Thomas Green Fessenden 571
Time's Portraiture 585
Snow-flakes 593
The Threefold Destiny 598
Jonathan Cilley 607
Chippings with a Chisel 616
Legends of the Province-House
I Howe's Masquerade 626
II Edward Randolph's Portrait 640
III Lady Eleanore's Mantle 652
IV Old Esther Dudley 667
The Sister Years 678
The Lily's Quest 685
John Inglefield's Thanksgiving 692
A Virtuoso's Collection 697
The Old Apple-Dealer 714
The Antique Ring 721
The Hall of Fantasy 734
The New Adam and Eve 746
The Birth-mark 764
Egotism; or, the Bosom-Serpent 781
The Procession of Life 795
The Celestial Rail-road 808
Buds and Bird-Voices 825
Little Daffydowndilly 834
Fire-Worship 841
The Christmas Banquet 849
A Good Man's Miracle 868
The Intelligence Office 873
Earth's Holocaust 887
The Artist of the Beautiful 907
Drowne's Wooden Image 932
A Select Party 945
A Book of Autographs 959
Rappaccini's Daughter 975
P.'s Correspondence 1006
Main-street 1023
Ethan Brand 1051
The Great Stone Face 1068
The Snow-Image 1087
Feathertop 1103
The Old Manse, preface to Mosses from an Old Manse 1123
Preface to Twice-told Tales 1150
Preface to The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-told Tales 1154
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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    A Review: "Hawthorne-Tales and Sketches" (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

    This volume is top-rate and a "must have" for anyone with a serious interest in Hawthorne. The binding, printing, and paper are first-class. It contains all of the author's approximately 100 short stories written between 1830 and 1852, which were initially published individually in newspapers and periodicals. He later gathered them together in three volumes: "Twice Told Tales," Mosses from an Old Manse," and "The Snow Image and Other Twice Told Tales." All are combined in this outstanding compilation, which also includes other works. Hawthorne's stories are generally allegories, or extended metaphors, where the plots and characters are used to convey a deeper or hidden meaning. Seeking this underlying meaning is a delight, and can be aided by Googling the story title. There is an abundance of helpful reviews and analysis. Hawthorne was a master of the allegory, and, as such, his stories beg an inquiring mind necessary for the deepest enjoyment and appreciation of his talents. They are timeless, and have significant and important historical context. Hawthorne is one of the most important American authors of the 19th Century, together with such other masters as Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, and Henry David Thoreau. The term "Old Manse" refers to the ancestral home of Emerson, which adjoins the Old North Bridge Concord, MA 1775 battlefield, the site of the "Shot Heard Round the World." Nathaniel and his new bride, Sophia Peabody, lived there for two years. The grounds contain a faithful reproduction of the vegetable garden planted as a wedding gift to the couple by Henry David Thoreau. Nearby is the Concord Museum (a treasure trove) and also the Ralph Waldo Emerson House, which was originally constructed as a summer house by the Coolidge family. Inside the Old Manse are window etchings created by "Nat" and Sophia with her diamond ring. They are priceless and to see the actual work of their hands is thrilling. Financial problems forced the couple to return to Hawthorne's family home in Salem, MA, where he wrote his masterpiece "The Scarlet Letter." In summary, this volume will delight anyone who seeks to know and appreciate Nathaniel Hawthorne. Your investment of the purchase price and your time will be amply rewarded. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It's simply excellent!

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