My Kinsman, Major Molineux Historical Context

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Writing "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" in the late 1820s or early 1830s, Hawthorne looked primarily to European writers for his models. For readers and writers of the nineteenth century, the forms of writing called "the novel" and "the romance" were distinct in style and in theme. Hawthorne found that most readers and critics favored the novel, but that the romance suited his own artistic temperament better.

Romance did not have the meaning it came to have in the late twentieth century: a story mainly concerned with romantic love between a beautiful heroine and a dashing, heroic man. Instead, the word originally applied to the languages derived from Latin (the Romance languages), including Spanish, French, and Italian. The term was later applied to stories written in French, and later still to a specific type of French story dealing with knights and castles and adventures...

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This section contains 713 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the My Kinsman, Major Molineux Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
My Kinsman, Major Molineux from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.