Nathaniel Hawthorne (American, 1804-1864)

Drawing on his ancestral history of early New England, Hawthorne infuses his fiction with complex layers of psychological realism, symbolism, and allegory. He frequently wrote about morality and the intricacies of guilt through the eyes of his characters. Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables are considered two quintessential examples of American literary classics.

Hawthorne came from an early colonial Puritan family in Salem. He grew up for a time in Maine and attended Bowdoin College. Determined to become a writer, he only excelled in composition in his early years and gradually maintained fame although constantly struggled personally with the craft of writing. Later, when his long-time friend Franklin Pierce became president, he was awarded a consulship in Liverpool, UK in 1853 before returning back to New England for the last few years of his life.