Cover image for Selected letters of Nathaniel Hawthorne
Title:
Selected letters of Nathaniel Hawthorne
Author:
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864.
Uniform Title:
Correspondence. Selections
Publication Information:
Columbus : Ohio State University Press, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xxxvii, 268 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780814208977

9780814250938
Format :
Book

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PS1881 .A4 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

This book is the first-ever selected edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne's letters--169 personal letters and eight letters written while Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American consul. Myerson carefully selected letters focusing on Hawthorne's relationship with famous people of the day: letters written to his wife, Sophia; letters describing everyday life in Salem, Boston, Concord, Britain, France, and Italy; letters in which Hawthorne comments on contemporary literature and his career as an author; and letters that reveal Hawthorne's thoughts and beliefs. Myerson's single-volume Selected Letters of Nathaniel Hawthorne is a welcome addition to the twenty-three-volume Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne (OSU Press)


Summary

This book is the first-ever selected edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne's letters--169 personal letters and eight letters written while Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American consul. Myerson carefully selected letters focusing on Hawthorne's relationship with famous people of the day: letters written to his wife, Sophia; letters describing everyday life in Salem, Boston, Concord, Britain, France, and Italy; letters in which Hawthorne comments on contemporary literature and his career as an author; and letters that reveal Hawthorne's thoughts and beliefs. Myerson's single-volume Selected Letters of Nathaniel Hawthorne is a welcome addition to the twenty-three-volume Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne (OSU Press)


Author Notes

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.

(Bowker Author Biography)


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.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Taciturn Hawthorne would be surprised (and chagrined) to know that readers are eavesdropping on his epistolary conversations a century and a half after the fact. In this very accessible volume one can "listen" while Hawthorne sends love letters to his wife, Sophia Peabody; warm greetings to his fellow literati Emerson, Longfellow, Lowell, and Thoreau; business inquiries to his publishers, Ticknor and Fields; cautious encouragements to those who sent him random books of poetry and first novels; and helpful dispatches to those who needed his services as US Consul in Liverpool. The letters Myerson (Univ. of South Carolina) presents are interesting without being loquacious and often show Hawthorne's lack of social affability and confidence in his own literary work. Such a volume might have several uses: as support for high school or undergraduate term papers; as an aid for those wanting to travel in Hawthorne country; as a supplement to one of the many Hawthorne biographies; as a source of delightful reading. With its helpful chronology, biographies of correspondents, collection of photographs, and clearly written introduction, this collection will serve well in almost any library, from village to university (and including high school and middle school collections). It is never too soon to get acquainted with an American icon. P. W. Stine Gordon College


Choice Review

Taciturn Hawthorne would be surprised (and chagrined) to know that readers are eavesdropping on his epistolary conversations a century and a half after the fact. In this very accessible volume one can "listen" while Hawthorne sends love letters to his wife, Sophia Peabody; warm greetings to his fellow literati Emerson, Longfellow, Lowell, and Thoreau; business inquiries to his publishers, Ticknor and Fields; cautious encouragements to those who sent him random books of poetry and first novels; and helpful dispatches to those who needed his services as US Consul in Liverpool. The letters Myerson (Univ. of South Carolina) presents are interesting without being loquacious and often show Hawthorne's lack of social affability and confidence in his own literary work. Such a volume might have several uses: as support for high school or undergraduate term papers; as an aid for those wanting to travel in Hawthorne country; as a supplement to one of the many Hawthorne biographies; as a source of delightful reading. With its helpful chronology, biographies of correspondents, collection of photographs, and clearly written introduction, this collection will serve well in almost any library, from village to university (and including high school and middle school collections). It is never too soon to get acquainted with an American icon. P. W. Stine Gordon College