Talk:Nathaniel Hawthorne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Former good articleNathaniel Hawthorne was one of the Language and literature good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
July 30, 2008Good article nomineeListed
November 19, 2009Good article reassessmentDelisted
Current status: Delisted good article

Information discrepency[edit]

The current wikipedia article states "Hawthorne wrote in the comparative obscurity of what he called his "owl's nest" in the family home." According to "Elements of Literature: Fifth Course Literature of the United States. Edited by Kathleen Daniel. Published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 1997. it was actually known as the "dismal chamber", can someone with editor rights please include this.

The "owl's nest" reference is from a letter Hawthorne wrote to Longfellow on June 4, 1837. From this same letter derives the footnoted quote in this article: "I have not lived, but only dreamed about living." I found this letter in The Viking Portable Hawthorne, edited by Malcolm Cowley. For an online source, see this page from Nathaniel Hawthorne by George Woodberry, where it is quoted. Here is the passage in question:

"Not to burden you with my correspondence, I have delayed a rejoinder to your very kind and cordial letter, until now. It gratifies me that you have occasionally felt an interest in my situation; but your quotation from Jean Paul about the 'lark's nest' makes me smile. You would have been much nearer the truth if you had pictured me as dwelling in an owl's nest; for mine is about as dismal, and like the owl I seldom venture abroad till after dusk."

In that same letter, a little further down on the linked page, Hawthorne again uses the image: "I intend in a week or two to come out of my owl's nest, and not return till late in the summer."

While looking for an online source of this "owl's nest" phrase, I found that he used it later in life as well. In Julian Hawthorne's biography of his parents, Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife (1884), the following link to Chapter 3, Part I includes a quotation from what Julian Hawthorne described as "the only trustworthy autobiographical fragment" of Hawthorne "known to be extant," which was "comprised in the following few paragraphs which he wrote out for his friend Stoddard, who was compiling an 'article' on him for the National Review, 1853." Here is the relevant passage from that autobiographical piece:

"From the press of Munroe & Co., Boston, in the year 1837, appeared 'Twice-Told Tales.' Though not widely successful in their day and generation, they had the effect of making me known in my own immediate vicinity; insomuch that, however reluctantly, I was compelled to come out of my owl's nest and lionize in a small way. Thus I was gradually drawn somewhat into the world, and became pretty much like other people. My long seclusion had not made me melancholy or misanthropic, nor wholly unfitted me for the bustle of life; and perhaps it was the kind of discipline which my idiosyncrasy demanded, and chance and my own instincts, operating together, had caused me to do what was fittest."

It would appear, then, that Hawthorne referred to his room as both an owl's nest, as in the above quotations, and as a dismal chamber, as referenced by yourself. - InvisibleSun 22:58, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

It might be good to use both phrases, as you get a better sense of what Hawthorne meant from both. Nareek 00:00, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Further Information[edit]

I'm removing the further information section. It's only a sentence or so long and is simply an assertion about Hawthorne's writing and personal philosophy (with several typos including in the section header). If it can be fleshed out and sourced it can certainly be added back.--Ahpsp 15:04, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

OK, I intend to make some changes to the descriptions in paragraph 6 as soon as RickK stops reverting them. There are glaring inaccuracies. For example, "The Blithedale Romance" is not about an elixir of life. Et cetera.

What do you say, RickK? Bds_yahoo

Out of curiosity, is Hawthorne's friend named Franklin Pierce the same as the 14th President of th U.S.? They graduated from Bowdoin within a year of eachother. If so he should be linked. -bmortimer

Yes, see and
-- Gruepig 04:07, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)


The last revision by greatly changes the picture of the Hawthorne's marriage. Can anyone provide a source for the claim that they had a "troublesome marriage"? Is there anything to suggest this in Sophia's journal or letters? For what it's worth, Melville seemed to think they had a happy relationship; he described their family as "the loveliest family he ha[d] ever met with, or anyone can possibly imagine" and says that Sophia "quite literally worshipped" Nathaniel. (Parker, Hershel. Herman Melville: A Biography) -- Gruepig 03:55, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • I wouldn't hesitate a whole lot about reverting out-of-left-field edits by anonymous IPs with only one edit to their "name" - if he has a source, it is up to him to return with it --JimWae 04:45, 2005 Mar 24 (UTC)
Reverting. -- Gruepig 17:28, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What is this about Hawthorne dying while on a trip to the mountains? I just read an article in the New Yorker(March 14? issue) on his relationship with Sophia and her older sister Elizabeth. The article mentions Hawthorne dying, but I got the impression that he was sick for a while at his home with his wife when he died.

Also mentioned was a biography on Elizabeth Peabody. I'll see if I can find a copy of it...

I found a site that states Hawthorne died while on a trip to the mountains, it is


Moved here from User_talk:JimWae

Hello. I noticed you changed back the Nathaniel Hawthorne image which size I had modified from "thumbnail" to "frame". I did so in the first place so that the picture, in its real, smaller size, would look much better than this and not appear with such a low resolution. I understand from your edit summary that you fixed the picture so it would be the same size as the others. I also saw that you had previously arranged the three images so that they are all aligned to the right. I do understand that this arrangement (same size and aligned to the right) makes the whole article look better, but I still think it's unfortunate that the first picture looks so bad when it is bigger.
I have a suggestion. In my opinion, the article contains too many pictures for its size. The second image ([1]) is a portrait that is almost identical to Hawthorne's appearance on the last picture ([2]). That illustration is also the one that was added the most recently on the article. I think the second picture should be removed from the article. The first picture could be changed to its normal size, and be aligned to the right of the text at the top of the article. The third picture could be aligned to the right or to the left in the "Writings" section. I think the article would look good that way. What do you think? -- Audrey 5 July 2005 05:15 (UTC)

I was wondering why you changed it - I never noticed lack of resolution, but now see it a bit. Maybe there's a better photo with higher resolution has the same photo in higher resolution - but less contrast --JimWae 2005 July 5 05:48 (UTC)

I uploaded a better resolution one myself. Better? --JimWae 2005 July 5 06:05 (UTC)

Ah, yes. This looks better. Thanks Jim. :) --Audrey 6 July 2005 00:00 (UTC)

The Way people saw it=[edit]

This section showed up yesterday, without any mention of it in discussion. I'm just going to delete it, if no one minds. It's uncited, unformatted, ungrammatical, and obviously unfactual. Check the revision history if you want to see it in its full badness.


Oh please, you're just an illiterate twit trying to make himself sound smart by making others seem incompetent.

Pornographic stories[edit]

I am unable to find substantiation for the following comments:

"Prior to gaining fame, Hawthorne wrote several highly sexual and pornographic stories for sailors under an assumed name (this writing style would emerge in later stories as shown by Lora Romero's article, "Homosocial Romance: Nathaniel Hawthorne")."

The trufulness of this seems unlikely (the Romero article is not available for free online), but it has remained unchanged for a few days so it is possible I am wrong to think it is inaccurate. Could someone please provide a reference or remove this passage. Philip Cross 17:34, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

This was just part of some ongoing vandalism to the article. It's now deleted. - InvisibleSun 18:41, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

InvisibleSun, besides being a stupid name, has displayed a terrible understanding of Nathaniel Hawthorne's writing career. The fact that InvisibleSun would consider acurate updates to wikipedia as vandalism is a sign that InvisibleSun should be banned from wikipedia

Interestingly, it turns out the original statement is true (Furthermore, prior to gaining fame, Hawthorne wrote several highly sexual and pornographic stories for sailors under an assumed name) as shown in the following article: "Pornography and the New Puritans" 12:58, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

  • The above link doesn't work. Here is the link provided in the footnote by the editor(s) making this claim. The article, "Pornography and the New Puritans," is by John Irving. The following shows, in its entirety, all that Irving says regarding Hawthorne:

    "But lest you think I'm being paranoid about the iniquities and viciousness of our times, I'd like you to read a description of Puritan times. It was written in 1837 -- more than 150 years ago -- and it describes a scene in a Puritan community in Massachusetts that you must imagine taking place more than 350 years ago. This is from a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne called "Endicott and the Red Cross," which itself was written more than 10 years before Hawthorne wrote "The Scarlet Letter." This little story contains the germ of the idea for that famous novel about a woman condemned by Puritan justice to wear the letter A on her breast. But Hawthorne, obviously, had been thinking about the iniquities and viciousness of early New England morality for many years.

    "Please remember, as you read what Nathaniel Hawthorne thought of the Puritans, that the Puritans are not dead and gone. We have many new Puritans in our country today; they are as dangerous to freedom of expression as the old Puritans ever were. An especially sad thing is, a few of these new Puritans are formerly liberal-thinking feminists."

    Irving then quotes from the story. Here is the quote in its entirety.

    "In close vicinity to the sacred edifice [ the meeting-house ] appeared that important engine of Puritanic authority, the whipping-post -- with the soil around it well trodden by the feet of evil doers, who had there been disciplined. At one corner of the meeting-house was the pillory, and at the other the stocks; . . . the head of an Episcopalian and suspected Catholic was grotesquely incased in the former machine; while a fellow-criminal, who had boisterously quaffed a health to the king, was confined by the legs in the latter. Side by side, on the meeting-house steps, stood a male and a female figure. The man was a tall, lean, haggard personification of fanaticism, bearing on his breast this label, -- A WANTON GOSPELLER, -- which betokened that he had dared to give interpretations of Holy Writ unsanctioned by the infallible judgment of the civil and religious rulers. His aspect showed no lack of zeal . . . even at the stake. The woman wore a cleft stick on her tongue, in appropriate retribution for having wagged that unruly member against the elders of the church; and her countenance and gestures gave much cause to apprehend that, the moment the stick should be removed, a repetition of the offence would demand new ingenuity in chastising it.

    "The above-mentioned individuals had been sentenced to undergo their various modes of ignominy, for the space of one hour at noonday. But among the crowd were several whose punishment would be life-long; some, whose ears had been cropped, like those of puppy dogs; others, whose cheeks had been branded with the initials of their misdemeanors; one, with his nostrils slit and seared; and another, with a halter about his neck, which he was forbidden ever to take off, or to conceal beneath his garments. Methinks he must have been grievously tempted to affix the other end of the rope to some convenient beam or bough. There was likewise a young woman, with no mean share of beauty, whose doom it was to wear the letter A on the breast of her gown, in the eyes of all the world and her own children. And even her own children knew what that initial signified. Sporting with her infamy, the lost and desperate creature had embroidered the fatal token in scarlet cloth, with golden thread and the nicest art of needlework; so that the capital A might have been thought to mean Admirable, or anything rather than Adulteress.

    "Let not the reader argue, from any of these evidences of iniquity, that the times of the Puritans were more vicious than our own."

    Irving then adds a comment to this: "In my old-fashioned opinion, Mr. Hawthorne sure got that right."

    And that's all there is about Hawthorne. Nothing about Hawthorne writing pornography, with or without a pseudonym. Nothing about sailors, either. This, in short, is just the continuation of vandalism by means of a hoax. - InvisibleSun 15:50, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

When Mars Attacks[edit]

Is this reference a spoof? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Adf3comcast (talkcontribs) 15:37, 10 February 2007 (UTC).

I have some theories[edit]

I have some theories that I have made up regarding Nathaniel Hawthorne, and I wish to air them in the section entitled "Theories". I ask that 2-3 Wikipedians sign on to these conjectures so that they will have a sufficient number of believers to merit inclusion under the obviously high standards used thus far.

1.) Although Nathaniel Hawthorne's works are commonly presumed to have been written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, space aliens wrote them.
2.) Franklin Pierce and Nathaniel Hawthorne were the same person. Think about it.
3.) A complex theory, still in development, involving a menage a trois between Sophia Peabody, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Franklin Pierce

Affix your name below to signal your belief in the above theories. Thank you for any help. Bill Oaf 10:48, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Navigation Box[edit]

I created a navigation box for Hawthorne based on the one for Edgar Allan Poe. It's not perfect, but it's a start. Unless other editors think it's unnecessary, I will start adding it to the bottom of all the articles on Hawthorne's works. Midnightdreary 15:37, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


I've added in a bibliography for this author, per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lists of works)--Alabamaboy 00:45, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I'll say it here as I did on the article for Charles Dickens. That manual of style doesn't seem to say anything about requiring bibliography lists but just how to format them if you choose to do it (or, really, how to set up a separate article on it such as Bibliography of Jorge Luis Borges). So I vote for removing it. Alternatively, a separate article works for me too. =) --Midnightdreary 02:16, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I think the list of major works as it currently exists is fine. If the bibliography started to get much long, we'd fork the excess into its own article. But there would still need to be a short bibliography in this article. But since the main discussion on all of this is taking place at Talk:Charles_Dickens#Bibliography, why don't we continue talking there and go by what the consensus there is.--Alabamaboy 13:35, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I suppose I still disagree that there needs to be a bibliography. One of the criticisms from peer reviews and featured article status reviews of the Edgar Allan Poe page was that there was too much junk in it and not enough biography (fyi: there is no bibliography for Poe, and his is officially at good article status). Couldn't the same argument be made here as well? --Midnightdreary 14:40, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Every author article in Wikipedia must have a bibliography. I agree that articles shouldn't have too much junk in them, but bibliographies are not junk. In this article's case, the bibliography is short so there's no need to fork it. Best,--Alabamaboy 19:32, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

DKE Reference[edit]

The article states that Hawthorn attended college from 1821 - 1825 and joined DKE while he was there. The DKE article says DKE was founded at Yale in 1844 which is 19 years after Hawthorne graduates.

Selhini 05:56, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

According to this DKE link, the chapter at Bowdoin (where Hawthorne went to college) wasn't founded until 1844. Hawthorne's son Julian became a member of DKE while at Harvard (see this link to his memoirs, where Part III has a subtitle "Football — Initiation into Delta Kappa Epsilon.") Perhaps a confusion of father and son? - InvisibleSun 23:17, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like it to me! I've removed the sentence. Thanks to Selhini for catching that and to InvisibleSun for doing some legwork. This just goes to show that this article really needs to be cleaned up and fully referenced! --Midnightdreary 00:45, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Poe criticism[edit]

Twice now, different editors have added that Poe's criticism of Hawthorne was in part due to his opium use. Besides that the source cited at the end of the sentence doesn't support it, it's not NPOV and possibly original research. Of course, what really should keep it out of the article is that it's now understood that Poe was not an opium addict (and probably not even a user). So, please don't add that information again. --Midnightdreary (talk) 17:57, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

Currently, everything written in the criticism section is actually PRAISE. Either the title or the content should be changed, you think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, "criticism" does encompass both the good and the bad. Certainly, the section can be expanded. --Midnightdreary (talk) 14:23, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Poe was innacurate about his assessment of Hawthorne. Poe used opium.

Therefore, Poe's use of opium was the cause of his criticism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Poe did not use opium. That's a myth that's spread by 7th grade English teachers. Sorry to disappoint. --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:44, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

um, the problem in this section is imho rather that it presents only contemporary views. Henry James should be given much more room here - and where are all the great 20th century AmLit scholars? Where's Matthiessen? Or Fiedler, Feidelson, Irving Howe...? --Janneman (talk) 22:20, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

So, help out and find them and add them, so long as they are sourced. Although, personally, I think contemporary views are more relevant. (talk) 16:30, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
Fine, let's cut out everything noncontemporary on, say, Emily Dickinson and Moby Dick...--Janneman (talk) 19:45, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Whoa, settle down for a second and assume good faith. No one was suggesting removing anything from anywhere. --Midnightdreary (talk) 23:00, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Nathaniel Hawthorne/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Gonna review this for GA material Intothewoods29 (talk) 21:23, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to put this nomination on hold for a while; this article has a few issues that prevent it from making it to GA status. A lot of the problems involve transitions; right now, the article is a smattering of relevant facts just tossed in there (Example: "Young Nathaniel moved in with maternal relatives. He was lame for a year") that's paraphrased, btw. You've got everything there, it just needs to be organized. Group info together that's about the same thing. Here are some of my suggestions... I hope they help (It looks like a lot, but it's not really):


  • Shortly after graduating... His classmates included... (consider switching the sentences and adding a transition)
I'm going to rewrite that sentence entirely. Really, I was just looking for a way to get the name "Hawthorne" into the article as soon as possible, so as not to confuse people ("Who is this Hathorne person??"). --Midnightdreary (talk) 21:41, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Maybe separate hawthorne's personal info (marriage, etc.) from his literary works
  • IMO, the bit about the biography at the end of the lead is out of place; incorporate it or get it out of the lead
Re: The lede, it's built per WP:LEDE, summarizing the article in the order in which it appears. Separating his biography from his works is counterintuitive to me, in a couple ways. Looking for further input, though. --Midnightdreary (talk) 21:41, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I think I've re-worked the lede just enough that all of these problems might be solved. Though, consider this: the first graph introduces him, the second tells his life story, the third focuses on his writing style (more or less the article in a nutshell). Let me know what you think! --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:15, 30 July 2008 (UTC)


  • you start with talking about nathaniel hawthorne, then immediately switch to william and john, and don't say if they're even related to nathaniel. either organize the first section chronologically or organize it centering about nathaniel (nathaniel's father was... he changed his name because... etc.)
I believe I've answered this concern now. --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:15, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Like I said above, the transitions need work. For example (the bold text is just my suggestion): While living with his relatives, young Hawthorne was hit on the leg while playing "bat and ball" etc."
I've done what I could, especially in that section. I'm sure it can improve further; let me know if there are any specific spots that stand out as in need of attention. --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:15, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
  • The section about his newpaper needs a transition.
Same as above! --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:15, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
  • The paragraph about his friends at college is interspersed with info about his uncle; group info into paragraph.
I think I've reworked that paragraph nicely. Further thoughts welcome. --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:15, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Other Sections:

  • The categories could use some renaming. The marriage section is also about family, and it ends in 1851, while the next section begins with 1846.
  • It might be beneficial to put the marriage/family category after biography, then put the chronological sections next. Also, you might consider putting years (18## - 18##) as the section names instead of "middle years" if you can. I don't know if that's possible, if it's not, that's okay.
I renamed the subsection to "Marriage and family". Beyond that, I have to respectfully disagree. The subsections just serve as earmarks to what is about to happen; certainly, all aspects of his life (as ours) spill into all other aspects. --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:15, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Okay, it works either way. :) Thanks for all the work you put in. Intothewoods29 (talk) 22:37, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

The later paragraphs, especially the literary stuff, is a lot better than the beginning paragraphs. Just fix the lead and any transitions you can see, make it flow better, and everything will be fine. :)

Thanks! Let me know if there are further improvements. If I have aim for FA status on this one, I'm sure there will be significant expansion. --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:15, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

All the pictures seem fine (that's cool that you found his grave). One of your sources needs a ISBN number if you can find it, but other than that all the refs seem good. It's stable (except for that bit about the space aliens in the talk page), and covers everything I can think that you'd need. No original research that I spotted. good job. Just work on making it flow, and tell me on my talk page when you're done. Hope that's not too much. :) Intothewoods29 (talk) 01:22, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

I visit Hawthorne's grave at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery at least twice a year! The one older book lacks an ISBN number because it, alas, never had one (at least not in the version I had). It seems the editor who was concerned we did not address the Hawthorne / space aliens connection never provided a reliable source. Ah well... --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:15, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Response to Midnightdreary[edit]

Great job! It's like a totally different article! It flows much more smoothly and is easy to read. It's much more organized, and a lot of the loose facts have been tied in nicely. I think all of my concerns have been addressed, and the article is, IMO, a Good Article.

1.Well-written, good transitions, organized
2.Good, reliable refs
3.Material is relevant to the biography; stays on topic
6.tagged pics

Congrats! Thanks for all the work you put in, to you and everyone else that contributed. If I can be of any help to you in the future, just let me know. :) Intothewoods29 (talk) 22:37, 30 July 2008 (UTC)


As a Unitarian-near-Transcendentalist, Hawthorne did not believe in any "inherent" sin. He was certainly interested in writing about what we consider evil, but let's not let religious bias influence the language we use to describe his mind. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Possible discrepancy in engagement length[edit]

Does it bother anybody else that the Marriage and family section reads: " . . he had become engaged in 1836 to . . . Sophia Peabody . . After 3 years of engagement, Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody on July 9, 1842 . ." If somebody can verify the dates, he/she should correct the text. Thanks in advance.Raymondwinn (talk) 16:37, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

I'll look into it, probably not for a few days though. My guess is that someone came in and changed the date as a subtle form of vandalism. --Midnightdreary (talk) 21:21, 28 December 2008 (UTC)


Over all a very good paper... I have one question. You never gave any information on Mellow. You used information from him/her but never told the name of the book or first name, etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:28, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


same problem with McFarland... am I just missing something? (talk) 00:37, 8 January 2009 (UTC) (UTC)—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

McFarland and Mellow... does anyone know who they are and what the books were that they wrote? (talk) 00:37, 8 January 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

You need to scroll down! See Nathaniel Hawthorne#Sources. --Midnightdreary (talk) 02:26, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks! That's helpful... :D (talk) 17:49, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

"Literary styles and themes"[edit]

This section is much too cursory for an author of Hawthorne's stature. The section does not delve into his novels in any detail nor does it really explain his writing style. Two sentences are insufficient to explain this! Also, the section does not even refer to Hawthorne's famous short stories. Awadewit (talk) 03:32, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

As a source, I would recommend starting with The Cambridge Companion to Hawthorne. In the back of the book, there is a "Selected bibliography" that will guide you to important scholarship on Hawthorne. Awadewit (talk) 20:41, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I've got all the sources, just don't have the time. This is probably my least favorite of the GAs I've done. Anyone out there willing to collaborate? --Midnightdreary (talk) 01:03, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Nathaniel Hawthorne/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

3a) This article does not address the main topics related to Nathaniel Hawthorne. As I mentioned on the talk page, the "Literary styles and themes" section is much too cursory for an author of Hawthorne's stature. The section does not delve into his novels in any detail nor does it really explain his writing style. Two sentences are insufficient to explain this topic. Also, the section does not even refer to Hawthorne's famous short stories. The main contributor to the article has indicated that s/he doesn't have the time to add this material. I'm hoping this GAR will bring the issue to more people's attention and perhaps elicit a collaborator. If this does not happen, I think the article should be delisted. Awadewit (talk) 18:35, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

As I've said before, I'm happy to collaborate on the improvement of this article. Otherwise, I'll only be able to pick at it here and there, at least for another couple weeks. Actually, as of the end of this month, I'll have a lot more time. I'll do what I can. (Though, I'll note that the section does, in fact, at least refer to Hatwhorne's short stories, right in the first sentence.) --Midnightdreary (talk) 19:17, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I look forward to seeing your additions and hopefully we'll be able to find someone to help you. I left messages at the relevant WikiProjects. I'll check back in a few weeks. Awadewit (talk) 17:56, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
As nothing has been done to address these concerns, I'm delisting the article. Awadewit (talk) 20:14, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
"Nothing" is a bit harsh! I did start adding to that section! --Midnightdreary (talk) 21:09, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah, yes, I apologize. I should have said "nothing significant" - I see you did add a few sentences. Awadewit (talk) 21:14, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Is this a personal attack? I added about 1300 bites in attempting to go through the entirety of the article as well as addressing your specific concern. Though not a huge amount, it seems that you are going out of your way to make it sound infinitesimally small. Have I done something to deserve this from you? --Midnightdreary (talk) 21:16, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
It is not a personal attack at all - it is a statement of fact. The section of the article about his works is virtually unchanged - a reader who read this version would still have no decent understanding of Hawthorne's writings. Awadewit (talk) 21:21, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. I guess I was expecting a line like "Concerns have not been met" rather than "nothing has been done" or that I have added only "a few sentences." Sorry if I come across as a you know what but these comments made me feel very, very small and useless. --Midnightdreary (talk) 21:27, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
You are not small and useless - you are the mighty Midnightdreary, who is overcome by the MASSIVE amount written about Hawthorne. I understand your pain because I've been toiling away on the Jane Austen pages for years. Just started Styles and themes of Jane Austen, but it has such a long way to go. *sigh* Awadewit (talk) 21:46, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
This totally made me laugh out loud - in fact I hung up on a phone call I was making because of this! --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:09, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Boston Custom House[edit]

Standard sources such as Encylopedia Britannica and Oxford Companion to American Literature say he worked in the Boston Custom House in 1839-40. What is the evidence, taken from Miller's biography, that he began there in January 1817?

Bamber Gascoigne (talk) 15:39, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Not sure there is any evidence at all that he started working there at age 12. But the article says that he worked there beginning in 1839. Where did you see 1817? --Midnightdreary (talk) 15:51, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Apologies - 1817 a mistyping of 1837. The sentence in question reads 'Hawthorne was offered an appointment as weighter and gauger at the Boston Custom House at a salary of $1,500 a year, which he accepted on January 17, 1837'. This seemingly authoritative source gives the date of his starting work as January 11, 1839. I imagine that 1837 in the Wikipedia article is, like my 1817, a mistyping of 1839. And in more detail I suspect January 11 may be right too.

Bamber Gascoigne (talk) 18:20, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Looks like you've got it, it was a typo that goes, way, way back (I checked back as far as November 2008). It's fixed now, confirmed with the Miller source. --Midnightdreary (talk) 20:18, 10 November 2009 (UTC) Thanks Bamber Gascoigne (talk) 11:44, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Ambiguous sentence[edit]

In the very first sentence of this paragraph:

The pronouns are unclear. "...that he would get married before him." This ambiguity caused me a good deal of confusion until I realized that I had understood the pronoun-antecedent link incorrectly. If someone qualified to do so could fix that error, it would make this article a bit more informative. Thank-you.

Sincerely, A grateful Wikipedia user —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Sexual Orientation[edit]

I have added a "citation needed" to the sentence in the lead that says, "Nathaniel was also a homosexual." It was not cited and the fact did not recur again in the article. Does anyone know whether this is true or not? Whether or not it is true, I don't think it belongs in the lead.... Can anyone help?

HCOtis (talk) 19:41, 20 April 2010 (UTC)HCOtis, 4/20/2010

It's vandalism. If something like that is not referenced, it should be removed and stay removed. Thanks. --Omarcheeseboro (talk) 19:52, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Name "Hawthorne"[edit]

The lead paragraph states that he changed his name to dissociate himself from his ancient ancestor John Hathorne. I find that speculative, and original research. I have tagged it, and the source should be cited right where I put the tag. "Fairly well-known" is not how Wikipedia works. We work by the use of actual sources which readers can verify. The source provided does not state what the article is claiming that it states. Please quote the exact words the source uses. "Well-known fact" is not a sufficient source. His signature is not a source for whether he changed it as opposed to anyone else, and it's not a source for why he might have changed it. Speculation or claims of why he or anyone else changed it are original research and an exact quote from a source needs to be used to back up a claim of that sort. Wjhonson (talk) 12:18, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

According to WP:LEDE, editors should balance the need to cite in the lede with redundancy of sources. The information is already sourced so let's aim for a new one, bearing in mind there has always been some discrepancy as to when the change was finally made.
  • "Hawthorne was definitely haunted by his Calvinist heritage and he added the 'w' to his surname around 1827 to disassociate himself from his tainted relatives." -From the introduction to Hawthorne's Haunts in New England (2008) by John Hardy Wright
  • "But, soon after he reached the age of twenty-one in 1825, he changed the spelling of his name from 'Hathorne' to 'Hawthorne' in what must have been a declaration of independence... 'The spirit of my Puritan ancestors was mighty in me,' he declared." -from the Biographical introduction to A Historical Guide to Nathaniel Hawthorne (2001), edited by Larry J. Reynolds
  • From a footnote referring to the spelling: "Hawthorne was still using the old spelling when he inscribed his name [in 1825]... The earliest appearance of the Hawthorne signature is 1827." - From Hawthorne in His Times (1980) by James R. Mellow
  • "...the author changed the spelling after graduating from Bowdoin..." -From Salem is My Dwelling Place (1991) by Edwin Haviland Miller
Hope that helps. --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:46, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Also, please clarify: Is the question regarding whether or not Hawthorne changed his own name (which was the original purpose mentioned in the edit summary which added the fact tag) or his motivations for doing so? I think I can more easily address this if I know for sure. For example, I can assure you that no one on Wikipedia is speculating or providing original research on the connection with his ancestors; if you're suggesting published Hawthorne scholars are too speculative, well, they all seem to agree on that speculation. It is, again, fairly well-known in the world of Hawthorne (this source even begins with "Everyone knows...") and has never been questioned so far as I know. I'm not trying to use that prior knowledge as a "source", as you seem to suggest above (nor did anyone use his signature as a source!), but only to justify why at least two editors were taken aback by the request (according to policy, which you well know, ledes only need additional sourcing for information likely to be challenged; that's what surprised us, I think). --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:59, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

That Hawthorne changed the spelling of his name *in order to* distance himself from his remote ancestor is speculation. That one author *claims* this without source, is not, in my opinion sufficient evidence that it is a fact we need repeat. I would allow a claim that "one author claims the reason he did this was to...", but to claim it as a fact in the lead is undue weight. Hawthorne himself never states why he did it, other biographers merely mention it in passing, or mention it as a whim or some kind. That's how it should be presented, imho.Wjhonson (talk) 17:06, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Now that I know your specific concern (which is different from the initial concern you noted) I'll find better attribution. The one author I quoted was not making a giant leap; generally speaking, scholars agree on this point and there seems to be little dispute about it. What we need to do here is reflect scholarship, so I think it's perfectly fine to make the statement (though, perhaps, it could be simplified in the lede, if that's part of the concern here). If you're interested, the original source, from which this is all based, is Julian Hawthorne, whose published biography of his father made the connection as a statement of fact long ago. --Midnightdreary (talk) 18:04, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Rose Hawthorne[edit]

The name of daughter Rose should be highlighted and expanded, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, which appears as a Wikipedia biography and the two entries should be linked. ˜˜˜˜ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wjpease (talkcontribs) 04:53, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

In the context of the article as it currently stands, there is no need to mention her married name; she was not married at the time of her father's death. There is, however, a full-length article on Rose, which is already linked by clicking on her name in this article. --Midnightdreary (talk) 15:11, 11 March 2011 (UTC)


What journals/notebooks of his survive? What has been published? - (talk) 22:01, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Diary of a Marriage: Sophia (1809–1871) and Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864). "Newlyweds Sophia Peabody and Nathaniel Hawthorne chose to keep a diary together, making a joint record of intimate life in their new home."[3] 1842-1852

- (talk) 16:47, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Disgraceful politics[edit]

"He thought that masters and slaves in the South lived together in comparative 'peace and affection': 'I have not…the slightest sympathy for the slaves,' he declared in 1851, 'or at least not half so much as for the laboring whites, who, I believe … are ten times worse off than the Southern negroes.'"

LudicrousTripe (talk) 20:14, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Are you suggesting this be added to the article, or are you merely editorializing by offering a modern opinion on an historic perspective? --Midnightdreary (talk) 17:29, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

A Wonder-Book for Boys and Girls[edit]

I changed the publication date for this book from 1852 to 1851 as per the Library of America, Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Lit, and the copyright page of the book itself as seen here: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

The Hawthorne-Melville friendship[edit]

Editors of Hawthorne's page may find useful material in the few paragraphs I just added to flesh out the H-M friendship at Herman Melville, keyed to Robertson-Lorant's Melville biography. It's inevitably from a Melvillean point of view, but still you may find something useful there. Feel free to use it, and to ask me any information about the sources the book uses.MackyBeth (talk) 17:44, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Edits on paragraph "Critics have applied...."[edit]

I took the liberty of boldly editing the rich paragraph starting "Critics have applied..." in Nathaniel Hawthorne#Literary styles and themes.

It struck me as disproportionately long, especially for biographical article; at nearly 500 words, it was itself longer than most of the other whole sections. It also contained unclear or technical language: "figurations of transformative potential," "potentiality as agency of transformation"; WP:Peacock ("stalwart") or unencyclopedic: "cynosural women... who serve as unambiguous allegorical foci..."; "protagonistas" (not in any of my five dictionaries or online); "unpardonably sinned-against". Major judgments were unsourced.

Rupkatha Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities is a reputable publication held by a number of libraries, but the reference to Anthony Splendora article was evidently placed there by himself. It was removed (at least twice) by Midnightdreary per WP:COI September 1, 2014. It was finally replaced by L.O Gabriel, who also inserted Splendora into the Stephen Crane article in October 2014 here

For parallel and perhaps congruent editing see: L.O. Gabriel User Contributions and Anthony Splendora User Contributions. Their contributions are only to these two articles. ch (talk) 05:41, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Nathaniel Hawthorne. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 14:23, 12 May 2017 (UTC)