"The House of the Seven Gables"
Nathaniel Hawthorne's life
1804 - 1864
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on the July 4th, 1804 in Salem, a puritan town, where his family had lived for generations. His father died only four years afterwards. From the shock of his death Mrs. Hawthorne (as the name was originally spelled, the "W" was inserted by young Nathaniel) never recovered. To the end of her life she lived in seclusion, rarely leaving her room. It is not surprising that Nathaniel developed to be shy, sensitive and lonely.
For four years Nathaniel studied at the Bowdoin College, where his habits of seclusion were mostly broken. Then he returned to Salem and his peculiar habits occurred again, he closed himself in the house for ten years. During the day he read and wrote at home, he was going out in the night. He wrote much and burnt much of what he had written.
From 1830 he published short stories in magazines. The first collection of his tales, Twice told Tales, appeared in 1837.
But his writings didn't earn him enough and he had to work for living. He worked as a weigher in the Boston customhouse; he also spent a year in the Brook Farm, a transcendentalist experiment.
In 1842 he married and moved to Concord, where he met many intellectuals. Here they lived happily for four years, Hawthorne wrote busily, because his work was recognized and appreciated more and more widely as its volume increased. The stories and sketches he wrote during this time were published in 1846, under the title Mosses from an Old Manse.
His income was still low, so he started to work as a Surveyor of the Custom House in Salem, and lived there for five years. He wrote...