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Two hundred years after his birth, Nathaniel Hawthorne remains one of America's most important and influential writers. To celebrate that bicentennial, this new collection gathers essays by novelists, critics, historians, and biographers that explore aspects of Hawthorne's life and work. It is published by the Lenox Library in Lenox, Massachusetts, the Berkshire town where Hawthorne spent two productive years and where he formed his friendship with Herman Melville. The essays here range from Louis Auchincloss and Elizabeth Hardwick on The Scarlet Letter to Paul Auster on Hawthorne's journals and what they reveal about his family life; from Harrison Hayford's previously unpublished exploration of Hawthorne's influence on Melville to Carol Gilligan's attempts to adapt Hawthorne's work for the stage; from Wendell Garrett's evocation of nineteenth-century Salem to a sample of Hawthorne's own journalism - "Chiefly About War Matters by a Peaceable Man," written for The Atlantic Monthly in 1862. Also in this volume, curators of Hawthorne historical sites explore the influence of physical environment on the writer; biographer Brenda Wineapple examines the author's political views, including his controversial disdain of abolitionists; journalist and novelist Tom Wicker offers an appraisal of Hawthorne's skills as a war correspondent; and journalist Neil Hickey considers the author's ongoing cultural influence through film and television adaptations of his work. This illustrated volume will also feature a range of visual materials, including original, full-page silhouettes in a nineteenth century style by artist Pamela Dalton.
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