Nathaniel Hawthorne is the only nineteenth-century American fiction writer to be considered canonical in both his own time and ours. His many stories and his four full-length romances –

The Scarlet Letter


The House of the Seven Gables


The Blithedale Romance

(1852), and

The Marble Faun

(1860) – quickly became part of the accepted answer to the call for an American literature commensurate with the national culture which was developing and defining itself between the American Revolution and the Civil War. That Hawthorne was wary of nationalism and dubious about American culture made him all the more central to the American tradition of endless revision and reform.

As befits an American author, he was born on the fourth of July in 1804, at 27 Union Street in Salem,

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Citation: Daly, Robert. "Nathaniel Hawthorne". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2005 [, accessed 25 April 2024.]

2037 Nathaniel Hawthorne 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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