Nathaniel Hawthorne

American Writer

1804 - 1864

Nathaniel Hawthorne, a famous author, is best known for his novel The Scarlet Letter and for his short stories. Born on July 4, 1804, Hawthorne and his two sisters were raised, by his mother and uncle. After attending Bowdoin College, he wrote for some newspapers and magazines. Hawthorne had lots of money problems, and was thus unable to fully concentrate on writing. He was able to publish his classic work, The Scarlet Letter, in 1850. He followed with The House of Seven Gables in 1851.

Hawthorne's writing was influenced by his love of reading and nature. As a child, Hawthorne was injured in a game of ball and spent several years mostly indoors, owing to the temporary lameness resulting from the injury. During that time he learned to love Shakespeare and The Pilgrim's Progress. For several years the Hawthorne family moved to Maine to live in the country.He later talked about this time as the happiest time of his life,

Hawthorne went on to write a campaign biography for his old college friend, Franklin Pierce, and when Pierce was elected president, he appointed Hawthorne U.S. consul at Liverpool, England. After spending several years abroad, Hawthorne returned to America in 1860. He died on May 11, 1864. Hawthorne, along with his contemporaries, Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe, is revered today for his role in establishing an American tradition of literature.

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