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Nathaniel Hawthorne Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem Massachusetts in 1804 into an old Puritan family Hawthorne graduated from Bowdoin College in 1825 He thereafter returned to his Salem home living in semi-seclusion and writing His work received little public recognition however and Hawthorne attempted to destroy all copies of his first novel Fanshawe which he had published at his own expense in 1828 During this period he also contributed articles and short stories to various periodicals Several of the stories were published in Twice-Told Tales in 1837 which although not a financial success established Hawthorne as a leading writer These early works are largely historical sketches and symbolic and allegorical tales dealing with moral conflicts and the effects of Puritanism on colonial New England Because Hawthorne was unable to earn a living by literary work in 1839 Hawthorne took a job as weigher in the Boston Massachusetts customhouse Two years later he returned to writing and produced a series of sketches of New England history for children Grandfathers Chair A History for Youth which was published in 1841 The same year he joined the communal society at Brook Farm near Boston hoping to be able to live in such comfort that he could marry and still have time to devote to his writing The demands of the farm were too great however and Hawthorne was unable to continue his writing while doing farm chores and after six months he withdrew from the community In 1842 he married Sophia Amelia Peabody of Salem and settled in Concord Massachusetts in a house called the Old Manse During the four years he lived in Concord Hawthorne wrote a number of tales that were later published as Mosses from an Old Manse published in 1846 They include Roger Malvins Burial Rappaccinis Daughter and Young Goodman Brown tales in which Hawthornes preoccupation with the effects of pride guilt sin and secrecy are combined with a continued emphasis on symbolism
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