The Ohio State University Press, 2005
eISBN: 978-0-8142-8015-7 | Paper: 978-0-8142-5612-1 | Cloth: 978-0-8142-0986-8
Library of Congress Classification PS1888.H39 2005
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.3

In this edited collection commemorating the bicentennial of Hawthorne’s birth in 1804, Millicent Bell gathers essays by distinguished scholars and critics that examine the ways in which Hawthorne related himself to the “real” in his own world and expressed that relation in his writing. Radically revising the older view that he was detached from conditions of actual life in 19th-century American society, the authors undertake to show how current social conditions, current events, and political movements taking place at a crucial point in American history were an evident part of Hawthorne’s consciousness. The essays situate his imaginative writings in a contemporary context of common experience and rediscover a Hawthorne alert to pressing problems of his day, especially slavery, feminism, and reform in general—the very issues that motivated his contemporaries on the eve of the Civil War. Hawthorne was, with his own complicity, long described as a writer of unreal romances (as he preferred to call his novels) or “allegories of the heart” as he termed some of his short stories. But the literary mode of his fiction has long needed to be redefined. The essays in this collection contribute to the turn in recent Hawthorne criticism which shows how deeply implicated in realism his writing was. This volume should long continue to provide new starting points for changing views of a great writer.
  • Millicent Bell
  • Nina Baym
  • Michael T. Gilmore
  • Leland S. Person
  • David Leverenz
  • Larry J. Reynolds
  • Lawrence Buell
  • Rita K. Gollin
  • John Carlos Row
  • Brenda Wineapple