Antebellum America saw a great upsurge in abortion, driven in part by the rise of the pharmaceutical industry. Unsurprisingly, the practice became increasingly visible in the popular culture and literature of the era, appearing openly in advertisements, popular fiction, and newspaper reports. One figure would come to dominate national headlines from the 1840s onward: Madame Restell. Facing public condemnation and mob attacks at her home for her dogged support of women’s reproductive rights, Restell built an empire selling her powders, pills, and services along the Eastern Seaboard.
Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne undoubtedly knew of Restell’s work and would go on to depict the incompatibility of abortion and nationalism in their writings. Through the thwarted plotlines, genealogical interruptions, and terminated ideas of Poe’s Dupin trilogy and Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gables, and The Blithedale Romance, these authors consider new concepts around race, reproduction, and American exceptionalism. Dana Medoro demonstrates that their work can be usefully read in the context of debates on fetal life and personhood that circulated in the era.
"An outstanding combination of literary interpretation and cultural and historical context that will be an important addition to the critical literature on Hawthorne."
---Nina Baym, University of Illinois
"It is difficult to imagine a more timely book than Devils and Rebels. Examining the role of the public intellectual and writer during a time of political conflict and war, Reynolds takes up his charges with great precision and historical finesse. What particularly distinguishes this book is its attention to the ways in which one of this country's most important authors struggled to resist the waves of political extremism and patriotic hysteria that swept around him."
---Jeffrey Steele, University of Wisconsin—Madison
Widely condemned even in his own time, Nathaniel Hawthorne's views on abolitionism and slavery are today frequently characterized by scholars as morally reprehensible. Devils and Rebels explores the historical and biographical record to reveal striking evidence of the author's true political values---values grounded in pacifism and resistant to the kind of binary thinking that could lead to violence and war.
The book offers fresh readings of not only Hawthorne's four major romances but also some of his less familiar works like "Legends of the Province House," The Whole History of Grandfather's Chair, Journal of an African Cruiser, The Life of Franklin Pierce, and "Septimius Felton." Reynolds argues that Hawthorne---whether in his politics or his art---drew upon racialized imagery from America's past revolution and war on witchcraft to create a politics of quiet imagination, alert to the ways in which New England righteousness could become totalitarian by imposing its narrow view of the world on others.
Meticulously researched and cogently argued, this groundbreaking work demonstrates the need to examine perspectives and values from beyond the New England region when studying the literary history of the American Renaissance and illuminates the difficulties faced by public intellectuals during times of political strife---an issue as relevant today as it was some one hundred and fifty years ago.
Larry J. Reynolds is Thomas Franklin Mayo Professor of Liberal Arts and Professor of English at Texas A&M University. His previous books include A Historical Guide to Nathaniel Hawthorne, National Imaginaries, American Identities: The Cultural Work of American Iconography, and European Revolutions and the American Literary Renaissance as well as an edition of the European writings of Margaret Fuller.
An annotated selection of unpublished letters by Nathaniel Hawthorne's sister.
Retrieved from seven different libraries, this corpus of letters was preserved by the Manning family chiefly for their value as records of Nathaniel Hawthorne's life and work; but they ironically also illuminate the life and mind of a fascinating correspondent and citizen of New England with incisive views and commentaries on her contemporaries, her role as a woman writer, Boston and Salem literary culture, and family life in mid-19th-century America.
This book illuminates Elizabeth's early life; the trauma caused for sister and brother by the death of their father; her and her brother's education; and the tensions the two children experienced when they moved in with their mother's family, the welthier Mannings, instead of the poorer though socially more venerable Hawthornes, following their father's death. The letters portray Elizabeth's constrained relationship with Nathaniel's wife Sofia Peabody and counter Sophia's portrayal of her sister-in-law as a recluse, oddity, and "queer scribbler."
These 118 letters also reveal Elizabeth Hawthorne's tremendous gifts as a thinker, correspondent, and essayist, her interest in astronomy, a lifelong drive toward self-edification in many fields, and her extraordinary relationship with Nathaniel. As a sibling and a fellow author, they were sometimes lovingly codependent and sometimes competitive. Finally, her writing reveals the larger worlds of politics, war, the literary landscape, class, family life, and the freedoms and constraints of a woman's role, all by a heretofore understudied figure.
The first book devoted to the literary relationship between Henry James and his American predecessor, Nathaniel Hwthorne. Robert Emmet Long demonstrates James’ transformation of Hawthorne’s romantic forms into realism, as one of the significant features of James’ early career. Long shows that Hawthorne provided James ith a native tradition having its own conceptions of American psychological experience.
At his death, Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864) was universally acknowledged in America and England as "the Great Romancer." Novels such as The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables and stories published in such collections as Twice-Told Tales continue to capture the minds and imaginations of readers and critics to this day. Harder to capture, however, were the character and personality of the man himself. So few of the essays that appeared in the two years after his death offered new insights into his life, art, and reputation that Hawthorne seemed fated to premature obscurity or, at least, permanent misrepresentation. This first collection of personal reminiscences by those who knew Hawthorne intimately or knew about him through reliable secondary sources rescues him from these confusions and provides the real human history behind the successful writer.
Remembrances from Elizabeth Peabody, Sophia Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, Rebecca Harding Davis, and twenty others printed in Hawthorne in His Own Time follow him from his childhood in Salem, through his years of initial literary obscurity, his days in the Boston and Salem Custom Houses, his service as U.S. Consul to Liverpool and Manchester and his life in the Anglo-American communities at Rome and Florence, to his late years as the "Great Romancer."
In their enlightening introduction, editors Ronald Bosco and Jillmarie Murphy assess the postmortem building of Hawthorne's reputation as well as his relationship to the prominent Transcendentalists, spiritualists, Swedenborgians, and other personalities of his time. By clarifying the sentimental associations between Hawthorne's writings and his actual personality and moving away from the critical review to the personal narrative, these artful and perceptive reminiscences tell the private and public story of a remarkable life.
Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934), Nathaniel Hawthorne's only son, lived a long and influential life marked by bad circumstances and worse choices. Raised among luminaries such as Thoreau, Emerson, and the Beecher family, Julian became a promising novelist in his twenties, but his writing soon devolved into mediocrity.
What talent the young Hawthorne had was spent chasing across the changing literary and publishing landscapes of the period in search of a paycheck, writing everything from potboilers to ad copy. Julian was consistently short of funds because--as biographer Gary Scharnhorst is the first to reveal--he was supporting two households: his wife in one and a longtime mistress in the other.
The younger Hawthorne's name and work ethic gave him influence in spite of his haphazard writing. Julian helped to found Cosmopolitan and Collier's Weekly. As a Hearst stringer, he covered some of the era's most important events: McKinley's assassination, the Galveston hurricane, and the Spanish-American War, among others.
When Julian died at age 87, he had written millions of words and more than 3,000 pieces, out-publishing his father by a ratio of twenty to one. Gary Scharnhorst, after his own long career including works on Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and other famous writers, became fascinated by the leaps and falls of Julian Hawthorne. This biography shows why.
This comprehensive study of Nathaniel Hawthorne's early writings analyzes the development of Hawthorne's work over the first twenty-five years of his career. Alison Easton studies that process in relation to current critical debates on subjectivity. By examining Hawthorne's novels, sketches, tales, letters, notebooks, reviews, and children's books up to the publication of The Scarlet Letter, Easton shows how Hawthorne tried to understand the complexities of the clash between desire (that which is unrecognized by the social order) and circumstance (the conditions under which one must live in society). The Hawthorne who emerges from this study proves to be a sophisticated theorist of subjectivity, whose project was central to his times.
The author contends that over the first half of his career Hawthorne explored, experimented, and negotiated his way toward a better model of the human subject than the ones that are usually seen as his cultural inheritance. This approach implies a complex, dialectic development in Hawthorne's work, arising from twenty-five years of accumulated experimentation and ongoing debate. Nearly all critics of Hawthorne have ignored this element of development, thus missing the complex evolution of the subject and the revealing intertextual play of meaning that is evident in everything Hawthorne wrote during this period. Easton's study is the first to supply a full chronology for the works written during these years, and the only one to consider in close detail the full and bewilderingly diverse range of his writing throughout this period and to find an overall pattern in the several stages of his intellectual and artistic enterprise.
Easton brings to scholars and students of nineteenth-century American literature a study of Hawthorne's work that is unique in both scope and perspective. The Making of the Hawthorne Subject offers a substantial and original contribution to the way we think about Hawthorne's work and the relationship of the human subject to the social order of mid-nineteenth-century America.
In 1853, when he was forty-nine and at the height of his literary career, Nathaniel Hawthorne accepted the post of U.S. consul at Liverpool, England, as a reward for writing the campaign biography of his college friend President Franklin Pierce. Hawthorne’s departure for Europe marked a turning point in his life. While Our Old Home, shrewd essays on his observations in England, The Marble Faun, a romance set in Italy, and the English Notebooks and French and Italian Notebooks were all results of his European residence, he returned to Concord in 1860 frustrated, depressed, and sick. He died in 1864.
In one of his public disavowals of autobiography, Nathaniel Hawthorne informed his readers that external traits "hide the man, instead of displaying him," directing them instead to "look through the whole range of his fictitious characters, good and evil, in order to detect any of his essential traits." In this multidimensional biography of America's first great storyteller, Edwin Haviland Miller answers Hawthorne's challenge and reveals the inner landscapes of this modest, magnetic man who hid himself in his fiction. Thomas Woodson hails Miller's account as "the best biography of this most elusive of American authors."
Hawthorne’s greatest romance, The Scarlet Letter, is often simplistically seen as a timeless tale of desire, sin, and redemption. In his introduction, Michael J. Colacurcio argues that The Scarlet Letter is a serious historical novel. If Hawthorne’s fiction rigorously and faithfully subjects Hester and Dimmesdale to the limits of seventeenth-century possibility, it nonetheless looks forward to the better, brighter world of Margaret Fuller and Fanny Fern, of Charles Fourier and John Humphrey Noyes.The John Harvard Library edition reproduces the authoritative text of The Scarlet Letter in the Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Jamie Barlowe finds it bitterly ironic that in literary criticism of The Scarlet Letter, a major American novel about a woman, the voices of female critics have been virtually excluded.
Barlowe examines the causes and consequences of the continuing disregard for women's scholarship. To that end, she chronicles The Scarlet Letter's critical reception, analyzes the history of Hester Prynne as a cultural icon in literature and film, rereads the canonized criticism of the novel, and offers a new reading of Hawthorne's work by rescuing marginalized interpretations from the alternative canon of women critics.
Despite the fervent protestations of scholars that women and minorities are no longer excluded from the arena of academic debate, Barlowe's investigation reveals that mainstream scholarship on The Scarlet Letter—studied as models by generations of students and teachers—remains male-dominated in its comprising population and in its attitudes and practices, which function as the source of its truth-claims. Rather than celebrating the minimal handouts of the academy to women and minorities—and of the culture that nurtures and supports the academy's continuing discrimination—Barlowe constructs a case study that reveals the "rather pitiful state of affairs at the close of the twentieth century."
By interrogating canonized assumptions, Barlowe charts new directions for Hawthorne studies and American literary studies. Through this exposé of ingrained institutional bias, perpetuated myths, and privileged critics, Barlowe provides a refigured perception of the field and state of contemporary literary scholarship.
An exploration of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s narrative technique and unique vision of the world
The Style of Hawthorne’s Gaze is an unusual and insightful work that employs a combination of critical strategies drawn from art history, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and contemporary aesthetic and literary theory to explore Nathaniel Hawthorne’s narrative technique and his unique vision of the world. Dolis studies Hawthorne’s anti-technological and essentially Romantic view of the external world and examines the recurring phenomena of lighting, motion, aspectivity, fragmentation, and imagination as they relate to his descriptive techniques.
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