Nathaniel Hawthorne's Tales


Nathaniel Hawthorne?s best-loved tales are now available in a revised Norton Critical Edition.
This revised Norton Critical Edition brings together twenty-three of Hawthorne?s tales in all their psychological and moral complexity. The Second Edition adds the early biographical sketch ?Mrs. Hutchinson? as well as two tales, ?The Wives of the Dead? and ?Dr. Heidegger?s Experiment.? Each tale is accompanied by explanatory annotations.
?The Author ...

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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s best-loved tales are now available in a revised Norton Critical Edition.
This revised Norton Critical Edition brings together twenty-three of Hawthorne’s tales in all their psychological and moral complexity. The Second Edition adds the early biographical sketch “Mrs. Hutchinson” as well as two tales, “The Wives of the Dead” and “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment.” Each tale is accompanied by explanatory annotations.
“The Author on His Work” contains the prefaces Hawthorne wrote for the three collections of tales published during his lifetime—The Old Manse, Twice-Told Tales, and The Snow Image. Also included are pertinent selections from his American Notebooks and relevant letters to, among others, Sophia Peabody, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Margaret Fuller.
“Criticism” offers important contemporary assessments of Hawthorne’s tales by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allan Poe, Margaret Fuller (new to the Second Edition), James Russell Lowell, Herman Melville, and Henry James. Modern criticism is well represented by twelve essays—four of them new to the Second Edition—on the tales’ central issues. Contributors include Jorge Louis Borges, J. Hillis Miller, Judith Fetterley, Nina Baym, Leo Marx, and Martin Bidney, among others.
A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393935646
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/26/2012
  • Series: Norton Critical Editions Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 536
  • Sales rank: 597,195
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Nathaniel Hawthorne
"Words -- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them," Nathaniel Hawthorne once reflected. Hawthorne's own words indeed had an undeniable power. Author of The Scarlet Letter and originator of the American short story, Hawthorne left an indelible impression on literature that would influence his fellow writers into the next century.


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

Preface ix

Preface to Second Edition xiii

The Texts of the Tales

My Kinsman, Major Molineux 3

Roger Malvin's Burial 19

The Gentle Boy 36

The Wives of the Dead 62

Mrs. Hutchinson 67

The Haunted Mind 73

The Gray Champion 77

Young Goodman Brown 84

Wakefield 96

The Ambitious Guest 103

The May-Pole of Merry Mount 110

The Minister's Black Veil 120

The Man of Adamant 131

Dr. Heidegger's Experiment 137

Endicott and the Red Cross 146

The Birthmark 152

The Celestial Rail-road 166

Earth's Holocaust 181

The Artist of the Beautiful 198

Drowne's Wooden Image 218

Rappaccini's Daughter 228

Ethan Brand 254

Feathertop 267

A Note on the Text

Textual Variants 286

Hawthorne's Revisions of "The Gentle Boy" 288

The Author on His Work

Prefaces 293

The Old Manse 295

Preface to the 1851 Edition of Twice-told Tales 317

Preface to the Snow-Image 321

Letters 323

To Elizabeth C. Hathorne, March 13, 1821 324

To H. W. Longfellow, June 4, 1837 325

To H. W. Longfellow, June 19, 1837 328

To H. W. Longfellow, January 12, 1839 328

To Sophia Peabody, October 4, 1840 330

To G. S. Hillard, July 16, 1841 332

To Margaret Fuller, August 25, 1842 332

To Margaret Fuller, February 1, 1843 334

To E. A. Duyckinck, July 1, 1845 336

To E. A. Duyckinck, April 15, 1846 336

To R. W. Griswold, December 15, 1851 338

To James T. Fields, April 13, 1854 339

From the American Notebooks 340


Early Criticism 357

Hawthorne's Twice-told Tales Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 359

[Twice-told Tales, Second Edition] Edgar Allan Poe 362

Tale-Writing-Nathaniel Hawthorne Edgar Allan Poe 363

[Hawthorne's Mosses from an Old Manse] Margaret Fuller 367

Hawthorne and His Mosses Herman Melville 370

Early Writings Henry James 385

Modern Criticism 393

Hawthorne as Poet Q. D. Leavis 395

Hawthorne and the Puritan Revolution of 1776 John P. McWilliams Jr. 409

The Logic of Compulsion Frederick C. Crews 418

Visible Sanctity and Specter Evidence: The Moral World of Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" Michael J. Colacurcio 429

Nathaniel Hawthorne Jorge Luis Borges 446

The Self Outside Itself: "Wakefield" and "The Ambitious Guest" Sharon Cameron 458

Defacing It: Hawthorne and History J. Hillis Miller 464

Hawthorne's "The Birthmark": Science as Religion Robert B. Heilman 477

Women Beware Science: "The Birthmark" Judith Fetterley 484

[The Tales of the Manse Period] Nina Baym 494

["Ethan Brand"] Leo Marx 499

Fire, Flutter, Fall, and Scatter: A Structure in the Epiphanies of Hawthorne's Tales Martin Bidney 507

Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Chronology 525

Selected Bibliography 529

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