Nathaniel Hawthorne Biography | Author of The Scarlet Letter

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Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in the infamous village of Salem. Massachusetts, on Independence Day, July 4, 1804. His parents were Nathaniel and Elizabeth Clarke Manning Hathorne. (The surname had been written both with and without the w; Hawthorne chose to include it when he began his writing career.) Hawthorne's father, a sea captain, died far from home when Hawthorne was four years old. At the age of nine he injured his foot and could move about very little for the next two years, a time he spent reading literary "classics." In 1820, while working for his uncle as a bookkeeper, Hawthorne complained to his sister, Elizabeth, that "No man can be a Poet and a Book-keeper at the same time." This conflict between his literary interests and need to earn money would be a fact of Hawthorne's life for many years; it is made a specific subject of "The Custom House...

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This section contains 477 words
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Buy The Scarlet Letter Study Guide
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The Scarlet Letter from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.