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Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864

Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife

By Julian Hawthorne, 1884

in two volumes

Table of Contents

  1. Volume One
    1. Ancestral Matters
    2. Sophia Amelia Peabody
    3. Boyhood and Bachelorhood, part 1
    4. Boyhood and Bachelorhood, part 2
    5. Courtship
    6. The Old Manse
    7. Salem
    8. Lenox
    9. Concord (first part)
    10. Notes for Stories and Essays (second part)
  2. Volume Two
    1. First Months in England
    2. From the Lakes to London
    3. Mrs. Blodgett's, Lisbon, and London
    4. Eighteen Months Before Rome
    5. Donati's Comet
    6. Rome to England
    7. The Marble Faun
    8. The Wayside and the War
    9. The Beginning of the End
    10. Conclusion
    11. Appendix

List of Illustrations

  1. To Volume One
    1. Daniel Hathorne. Etched by S. A. Schoff. From a miniature in possession of the author....Frontispiece
    2. Salem Custom House. Etched by E. H. Garrett. . . .Titlepage
    3. Capt. Nathaniel Hathorne. Etched by S. A. Schoff. From a miniature in possession of the author. . 36
    4. Sophia Amelia Hawthorne at the age of thirty-six. Etched by S. A. Schoff. From a painting in possession of Mrs. N. Peabody, of Boston. . . .242
  2. To Volume Two
    1. Nathaniel Hawthorne at the age of thirty-six. Etched by S. A. Schoff. From a painting in possession of R. C. Manning of Salem. . . .Frontispiece
    2. Hilda's tower. Etched by E. H. Garrett. . . . Titlepage
    3. Nathaniel Hawthorne at the age of fifty-six. Etched by S. A. Schoff. From a photograph by Mayal, London. . . . 150
    4. Nathaniel Hawthorne at the age of fifty-eight. Etched by S. A. Schoff. From a photograph taken in Boston. . . . 300




these records of a happy marriage

are dedicated

By Her Husband



THIS biography will not be found to err on the side of reticence. The compiler has given everything that the most liberal construction of his obligation could demand. The closet, to be sure, had no skeleton in it; there was nothing to be hidden. What should be published and what withheld, became, therefore, a matter of taste rather than of discretion; and though a right selection under the former condition may be more difficult than under the latter, its importance is less.

I have allowed the subjects of the biography, and their friends, to speak for themselves whenever possible; and, fortunately, they have done so very largely. My own share in the matter has been chiefly confined to effecting a running connection between the component parts. I have not cared to comment or to apologize, nor have I been concerned to announce or confirm any theory. This book is a simple record of lives; and whatever else the reader wishes to find in it must be contributed by himself. I will only remark that if true love and married happiness should ever be in need of vindication, ample material for that purpose may be found in these volumes.

Of Hawthorne as an author I have had little or nothing to say: literary criticism had no place in my present design. His writings are a subject by themselves; they are open to the world, and the world during the past thirty or forty years has been discussing them,--not to much purpose as a rule. Originality remains a mystery for generations.

I have received assistance, in the shape of letters and other material, from various friends, to whom I gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness. Mr. Henry Bright (whose death occurred as the last pages of the book were writing) sent me valuable notes of Hawthorne's English experiences; and Miss E. P. Peabody has afforded me help which could scarcely have been dispensed with. Mr. Richard Manning, of Salem, in addition to other courtesies, has allowed the portrait of Hawthorne, in his possession, to be etched by Mr. Schoff. And in this connection I cannot refrain from saying that Mr. Schoff's success in all the six likenesses which illustrate these volumes has been quite exceptional. As likenesses they could not be better; and they are their own evidence of their artistic merit.


NEW York, July, 1884

A Note on the Text

For the online edition we add this note.

As copytext we use the 1884 edition published by James R. Osgood and Company, as reprinted in a photoreproduction by Archon Press, 1968. For some parts we use the first edition, acquired after we noticed many pages missing from the library copy of the reprint.

These two volumes were added by Julian Hawthorne, along with his reassembly of the unfinished Dr. Grimshawe's Secret, to the 12-volume Riverside Press edition of the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1883.

Some of the material Julian Hawthorne used has also appeared in later compilations of letters or notebooks, under various copyrights. But since the 1884 copyright has now expired, we can publish this public domain work in full.

We have not modernized spelling or punctuation, except that long quotations from letters or notes have been indented one level (if your browser respects the "blockquote" command) for ease of reading. As usual, we render the em dash with two hyphens or minus signs. Contractions such as "do n't" are sometimes spelled with a space between the words, contrary to modern practice.

As soon as these two volumes appeared, the first attempt at a biography of Hawthorne using the family's letters and other materials, there were controversies. The Rev. James Freeman Clarke published a letter of correction, which we have not seen. Julian's argument about the source of the Mayall photographs taken in 1860 in London was bitterly contested by others. It would appear that the correct answer is that there were three separate photographs taken by Mayall (see Rita Gollin's iconography [Goll83]). However, a number of other points Julian made seem to stand up under modern criticism, and later biographies have all used the material Julian presented.

Today's scholars should refer to the more recent editions of the letters and notebooks in the Centenary Edition of Hawthorne's complete works, published by Ohio State University Press. (We were not able to use them online here because of the publisher's copyright.) The posthumous works were edited by Nathaniel Hawthorne's wife and family for various reasons; some of the original has been restored by modern critics. But we hope that our online republication of these 1884 volumes, still of interest today, helps fill out some of the biography that readers of Hawthorne need and demand.

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