Mosses from an Old Manse, Volume 1

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Createspace Independent Pub, Jan 1, 2006 - Fiction - 408 pages
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As we turn over these volumes we feel that the pieces that spring most directly from his fancy, constitute, as I have said (putting his four novels aside), his most substantial claim to our attention. It would be a mistake to insist too much upon them; Hawthorne was himself the first to recognize that. . . . the valuable element in these things was not what Hawthorne put into them consciously, but what passed into them without his being able to measure it -- the element of simple genius, the quality of imagination. This is the real charm of Hawthorne's writing -- this purity and spontaneity and naturalness of fancy. -- Henry James

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About the author (2006)

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. When he was four years old, his father died. Years later, with financial help from his maternal relatives who recognized his literary talent, Hawthorne was able to enroll in Bowdoin College. Among his classmates were the important literary and political figures Horatio Bridge, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Franklin Pierce. These friends supplied Hawthorne with employment during the early years after graduation while Hawthorne was still establishing himself as a legitimate author. Hawthorne's first novel, Fanshawe, which he self-published in 1828, wasn't quite the success that he had hoped it would be. Not willing to give up, he began writing stories for Twice-Told Tales. These stories established Hawthorne as a leading writer. In 1842, Hawthorne moved to Concord, Massachusetts, where he wrote a number of tales, including "Rappaccini's Daughter" and "Young Goodman Brown," that were later published as Mosses from an Old Manse. The overall theme of Hawthorne's novels was a deep concern with ethical problems of sin, punishment, and atonement. No one novel demonstrated that more vividly than The Scarlet Letter. This tale about the adulterous Puritan Hester Prynne is regarded as Hawthorne's best work and is a classic of American literature. Other famous novels written by Hawthorne include The House of Seven Gables and The Blithedale Romance. In 1852, Hawthorne wrote a campaign biography of his college friend Franklin Pierce. After Pierce was elected as President of the United States, he rewarded Hawthorne with the Consulship at Liverpool, England. Hawthorne died in his sleep on May 19, 1864, while on a trip with Franklin Pierce.

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