Hawthorne in Concord

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Grove Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 341 pages
2 Reviews
With Hawthorne in Concord, Philip McFarland presents an appreciative portrait that illuminates the periods Hawthorne lived in the village of Concord, Massachusetts, capturing the flavor and essence of his life. In 1842 Hawthorne, the author of Twice-Told Tales, escorts his beloved new wife, Sophia, to their first home, the Old Manse. In love with Concord and enriched by friendships with Thoreau and Emerson, this becomes an idyllic time for him. But ultimately, unable to make enough money from his writing, he returns ingloriously to his mother's home in Salem. In 1852, Hawthorne returns to Concord, now the renowned novelist of both The Scarlet Letter (1850) and The House of the Seven Gables (1851). Eager to begin writing at the scene of his earlier happiness, he instead completes a biography of his college friend, Franklin Pierce, who is running for president. When Pierce wins, Hawthorne is appointed to the lucrative post of consul in Liverpool. Coming home in 1860, he finds America on the verge of civil war. Emerson welcomes Hawthorne with a gala strawberry party. Concord is now a hive of abolitionists, but Hawthorne withdraws due to his ambiguous views on the war and his deteriorating health.

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User Review  - bogopea - LibraryThing

Book enhanced my knowledge of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Thought it was very well researched; however, the author would mention incidents in one chapter and then present them in another as if they had not been previously mentioned. It was confusing until I caught on to his style. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Midnightdreary - LibraryThing

What makes this book stand out among a sea of Hawthorne biographies is McFarland's impressive ability to put Hawthorne in context. Though the title is "Hawthorne in Concord," the book takes us through ... Read full review

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