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Hawthorne: A Spirit

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Hawthorne: A Spirit
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Handsome, reserved, almost frighteningly aloof until he was approached, then playful, cordial, Nathaniel Hawthorne was as mercurial and double-edged as his writing. “Deep as Dante,” Herman Melville said.

Hawthorne himself declared that he was not “one of those supremely hospitable people who serve up their own hearts, delicately fried, with brain sauce, as a tidbit” for the public. Yet those who knew him best often took the opposite position. “He always puts himself in his books,” said his sister-in-law Mary Mann, “he cannot help it.” His life, like his work, was extraordinary, a play of light and shadow.

In this major new biography of Hawthorne, the first in more than a decade, Brenda Wineapple, acclaimed biographer of Janet Flanner and Gertrude and Leo Stein (“Luminous”–Richard Howard), brings him brilliantly alive: an exquisite writer who shoveled dung in an attempt to found a new utopia at Brook Farm and then excoriated the community (or his attraction to it) in caustic satire; the confidant of Franklin Pierce, fourteenth president of the United States and arguably one of its worst; friend to Emerson and Thoreau and Melville who, unlike them, made fun of Abraham Lincoln and who, also unlike them, wrote compellingly of women, deeply identifying with them–he was the first major American writer to create erotic female characters. Those vibrant, independent women continue to haunt the imagination, although Hawthorne often punishes, humiliates, or kills them, as if exorcising that which enthralls.

Here is the man rooted in Salem, Massachusetts, of an old pre-Revolutionary family, reared partly in the wilds of western Maine, then schooled along with Longfellow at Bowdoin College. Here are his idyllic marriage to the youngest and prettiest of the Peabody sisters and his longtime friendships, including with Margaret Fuller, the notorious feminist writer and intellectual.

Here too is Hawthorne at the end of his days, revered as a genius, but considered as well to be an embarrassing puzzle by the Boston intelligentsia, isolated by fiercely held political loyalties that placed him against the Civil War and the currents of his time.

Brenda Wineapple navigates the high tides and chill undercurrents of Hawthorne’s fascinating life and work with clarity, nuance, and insight. The novels and tales, the incidental writings, travel notes and children’s books, letters and diaries reverberate in this biography, which both charts and protects the dark unknowable core that is quintessentially Hawthorne. In him, the quest of his generation for an authentically American voice bears disquieting fruit.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Latest News

  • Girls basketball: Statewide schedule for Thursday Jan. 21

    01/21/16 ,via

    Queen of Peace at New Milford, 5:30pm. Indian Hills at Ridgefield Park, 5:30pm. Hawthorne Christian at Waldwick, 5:30pm. Paterson Eastside at Bergen Tech, 7pm. Ramapo at Bergenfield, 7pm. River Dell at Cliffside Park, 7pm. Westwood at Dumont, 7pm

  • Laurence Manning Academy 2nd Semester Honor Roll

    01/21/16 ,via Manning Live

    Courtney Johnson – Payton Brown, Lenley Caughman, Celia Elliott, Cole Hawthorne, Caroline Hudson, Sarah Ratkovsky, Evan Reynolds, Jenny Tran, Kayla Willson. Ninth Grade – Samuel Cody Atkinson, Ashley Baker, Andrew Boyd, Addie Davids, Bryce Derus


CHARLOTTE--92 at Elizabeth/ Hawthorne OB_011516D 01/20/16, @railpics
RT @loveread: #itunes #romance Pregnant with the Sheik's Baby - Elizabeth Lennox 01/17/16, @S_T_Hawthorne
RT @bookgoodies: *Robin Unaware* only 99 cents! #Mystery #Suspense #Romance #eBook 01/17/16, @S_T_Hawthorne


  • Non-fruitcake By Miss Elizabeth Recipe

    baking powder, baking soda, cranberries, cranberries, eggs, flour, maraschino cherries, margarine, pecan, pineapple, bread, raisins, salt, sugar, walnut, water

  • Elizabeth's Chocolate Zucchini Cake

    baking powder, baking soda, butter, buttermilk, cocoa powder, eggs, salt, semisweet chocolate, sugar, flour, vanilla extract, vegetable oil, zucchini


  • Elizabeth Manning Hawthorne

    University of Alabama Press. 2016. ISBN: 9780817314989,0817314989. 211 pages.

    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.

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  • Mabel Wilson

    01/19/16 ,via The News-Gazette

    DANVILLE – Mabel Melissa Wilson, 93, died on Saturday (Jan. 16, 2016) at Hawthorne Inn in Danville, where she was a resident. Mabel was born on April 11, 1922, in Brookeville, Ill., the daughter of John Thomas and Cora Elizabeth (Miller) Wilson.

  • Oaklawn Park

    01/18/16 ,via SkySports

    6 1/4l behind Elizabeth's Fever (8-10) at Hawthorne 6f fst in Jan. So Many Dreams (USA) 5-1 (8-1) 6w, improved position, 4th of 8, shd behind Gracee Goo (8-8) at Keeneland 6f fst in Oct. Shut The Gate (USA) 12-1 (8-8) Settled, 4w, no threat, 4th of 9 ...

  • Man charged in fatal shooting at Paterson warehouse party pleads not guilty

    01/15/16 ,via North Jersey

    Elizabeth Walsh, a public defender ... a usually quiet industrial part of the city that borders Hawthorne. Witnesses and police said several shots were fired after a dispute broke out among the patrons around 3:45 a.m.. Police did not say what caused ...


Elizabeth Hawthorne - IMDb

Elizabeth Hawthorne, Actress: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Elizabeth Hawthorne is an actress, known for The Chronicles of Narnia ...

Elizabeth Hawthorne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Elizabeth Hawthorne, ONZM, is a New Zealand-born actress who is known for her role as Mrs. Macready in the 2005 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and ...

Tula Pink - Elizabeth Fabric Collection - Hawthorne ...

Free Spirit Designer Solid in Light Jade. View Fabric. Free Spirit Designer Solid in Miracle Blue

The Paternal Ancestors of Nathaniel Hawthorne: Introduction

Major William Hathorne (Hawthorne's paternal great-great-great- grandfather; c. 1606/7-1681) Justice John Hathorne (son of Major William Hathorne and Hawthorne's ...

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Elizabeth Hawthorne

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