American novelist and short story writer,

known for his “Dark Romance” novels.

His works were mostly set in New England and focused on history, morality and religion.

“Dark Romantics” tend to draw attention to

the unintended consequences and complications that arise

from well-intended efforts at social reform.

Early Life

Hawthorne attended Bowdoin College where he was friendly

with future president Franklin Pierce and future poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

He started writing short stories while working other jobs.

Brook Farm

From April to November of 1841, he and his future wife Sophia Peabody

joined a Transcendentalist Utopian community, called Brook Farm –

not so much for its ideals, but to save money.

He drew upon these experiences for his novel The Blithedale Romance (1852).

Married Life

Nathaniel and his wife lived in Massachusetts: first Concord, then Salem, followed by Lenox in the Berkshires.

They had three children.

Both Nathaniel and his wife were shy and quite reclusive,

although he did meet Herman Melville in Lenox and Melville dedicated “Moby Dick” to Hawthorne.

Major Works

Many of Hawthorne’s famous works were published while he lived in Lenox.

The Scarlet Letter (1850) ,

one of the first mass-produced novels in America – it was an instant best-seller.

The House of the Seven Gables (1851).

The Blithedale Romance (1852) – his only work in the first-person.

Read About the Book
What Did Sarah Think?
Read About the Book
What Did Sarah Think?
Read About the Book
What Did Sarah Think?

The family moved back to Concord, where their neighbors included

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.


Later Life

Hawthorne wrote the campaign biography of his college friend,

The Life of Franklin Pierce.

When Pierce was elected President,

Hawthorne was given a US consul position in Liverpool, England.

In 1860 he returned to Concord.

He died in his sleep in 1864

during a tour of the White Mountains in Plymouth, New Hampshire.

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