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Remembering Nathaniel Hawthorne

Born on July 4, 1804, Nathaniel Hawthorne was known for writing the novels the Scarlet Letter, the House of Seven Gables, the Blithedale Romance and, in his later years, growing an epic mustache that led many to confuse him for a walrus.

Nathaniel Hawthorne with epic moustacheAs a young man, Hawthorne attended school with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and future president that no one remembers, Franklin Pierce. It was after college that he changed the spelling of his name from Hathorne, to match its pronunciation, although some will say it was to distance himself from July he Hathorne, his great-great-grandfather who served as a judge during the Salem Witch Trials.

While his writing is typically described as dark romanticism and part of the Romantic movement, he was good friends with Transcendentalist writers, Thoreau and Emerson, who would serve as a pall bearer at Hawthorne’s funeral in 1864.

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