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Dr. Heinze, Phil. M. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘Legends of the Province House’ in Relation to Historical Documents. GRIN Verlag, 2008.

One of the most remembered American novelist and short story writer is Nathaniel Hawthorne. His work has featured in many literal arenas, both in the criticism and supported world. Dr. Heinze however uncovers in his work some of Nathaniel Hawthorne work that has featured less in the world of literature. As an author, Dr. Heinze (2008) argues that there are four stories that were written by Hawthorne that have been ignored in the past and until recently, they featured less in the literal world (4). In reference to the arguments that have been presented by Dr. Heinze, the intended audiences of this book have an opportunity to read and understand the colonial past of the United States of America through the eyes of Nathaniel Hawthorne. On the other hand, this book reveals that there is a tendency by the literal world to ignore works of authors that are perceived as minor work, yet they have a significant influence not only in the world of literature but also on the overall understanding of the history.

Eldred, Eric. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) Home Page. Derry, N.H.: Eldritch Press. 12 Oct. 1999. 11 Apr. 2010. <http://www.eldritchpress.org/nh/hawthorne.html>.

The work of Nathaniel Hawthorne that is illustrated on this website focuses on nearly all the collection of original work that was done by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The website arranges this work in regard to their date of writing and groups in such a way that the audience is able to follow on the website arrangement of this work. Preservation of past work therefore forms as the central theme in the work that has been prepared by this website. There is a similarity that is brought out both in the work that has been prepared by this website and Dr Heinze (2008) works in that both work on preservation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work and presenting to the public. There is however specific work that have been done by the major critics of Hawthorne’s work that also feature in this website, thus providing the audience with a two way analysis of both Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work and the perceptions that his critics had against his writings.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The house of the seven gables: a romance. Massachusetts: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1851.

The house of the seven gables: a romance is a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne that was written in 1851. The novel describes a house in the mid 19th century setup, yet it had been built in the 17th century. The characters in the novel revolve around the happenings of this haunted house which remained a symbol of sinister activities such as murder, death and witchcraft. The novel is a depiction of various happenings in the life of Hawthorne and symbolized the dark error in the lives of the American and the society across the globe as it struggled with sinister issues such as slavery. Yet, Hawthorne (1851) does not loose direction in regard to the beauty of life (48).  He argues that ‘Life is made up of marble and mud. And without all the deeper trust in a comprehensive sympathy above us, we might hence be led to suspect the insult of a sneer, as well as an immitigable frown, on the iron countenance of fate. What is called poetic insight is the gift of discerning, in this sphere of strangely-mingled elements, the beauty and the majesty which are compelled to assume a garb so sordid’ (48). This novel acts as one of the fictional work of Hawthorne that looks at history through the fictional lens.

Idol, John L. and Jones, Buford. Nathaniel Hawthorne: the contemporary reviews. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Idol and Jones (1994) approaches their work through reviewing the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and how different issues and events in his life and work continues to uncoil certain factors that were affecting the society at that particular time in history. As a result of these factors, Idol and Jones reveals to the audience how the writings of Hawthorne based on these historical issues and factor brought him to the limelight and elevated him as an author or writer to the standards of Shakespeare. Whereas Shakespeare’s themes vary consistently from that of Hawthorne, there is a link that is revealed by Idol and Jones (1994) in regard to addressing of societal issues and the elevation of a writer’s or an author’s standards (489). In comparison to Swann’s work, societal issues remains as some of the most important issues that were addressed by Hawthorne throughout his work. For example, the issue of slavery and its effects in the society (253). In this regard, the audience of Idol and Jones must be prepared not only to criticize Hawthorne’s stylistic devices but also learn about history and factors that have shaped the society in the past and the present.  

Reynolds, Larry J. A historical guide to Nathaniel Hawthorne. New York: Oxford University Press US, 2001.

The understanding of the times and moments within which an particular author or rather writer lived is one of the most important aspects and a big step in understanding how the ideologies of such a writer or author developed over time. Reynolds (2001), in his follow the chronological point of view of Nathaniel Hawthorne as a writer during the 19th century and how his writing developed over time. In this regard, it is important for one to understand that different writers or authors are influenced by different factors in the society (3). As a result of this, Reynolds (2001) uncovers the fact that there are different issues or rather events in the 19th century that influenced the work of Hawthorne, and as a result, there is a link between his work and these issues in the society such as slavery (35). Whereas this acts as a historical review of the chronological events and work of a historical writer, it serves as an important element in the study of the past events that have influenced the society, especially the American society.

Swann, Charles. Nathaniel Hawthorne, tradition and revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Swann (1991), unlike Reynolds (2001) who examines the work of Hawthorne chronologically in relation to history, explores history as seen in the lenses of Hawthorne. In particular, Swann (1991) focuses on the perception of Hawthorne towards history and specifically on his unfinished work or rather Hawthorne’s work that was considered as unfinished. Therefore, the interpretation of history through fiction features as the main theme of this book. Whereas there are primary sources that are available that can be used to explore historical facts, there are some cases whereby these materials are limited in their explanation in the sense that they contain limited information that can help the reader to understand the past history. Therefore, fictional work, that resulted from observations that were made in the society are important materials or rather literal pieces that fills these gaps and aids the literal audience to come to a point where they can link the little amount of facts they have and this fictional work. Thus, Swann’s work acts as an important literal piece in helping its audience to understand history from the fictional side of Hawthorne’s work.

Reuben, Paul P. PAL: Perspectives in American Literature - A Research and Reference Guide - An Ongoing Project. 8 Mar. 2010. 11 Apr. 2010. <http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap3/hawthorne.html>.

The content of any author’s work are some of the most important factors that drives that writer or author to fame and to remain relevant in the society for a long period of time, even after his death. However, the content alone cannot capture the mind of the intended reader or rather audience. There is need to package this content in a way that the reader or audience will find it difficult to avoid exploring more about this work. This is done through the artistic styles that are employed by the author. In this regard therefore, Reuben (2010) explores different stylistic devices that are employed by Nathaniel Hawthorne in presenting his work to the audience. Similarly, the themes that were explored by Hawthorne also played a critical role in his work. Reuben (2010) argues that Nathaniel Hawthorne understood that when a writer calls his work a romance, he wishes to claim a certain latitude, both as to its fashion and material, which he would not have felt himself entitled to assume had he professed to be writing a novel. As a result, he pursued this line of thought in his work and created a niche for himself in the historical work of great authors and writers.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Classic Text: Traditions and Interpretations. 9 Oct. 2001. 11 Apr. 2010. <http://www4.uwm.edu/libraries/special/exhibits/clastext/clspg143.cfm>.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2001) follows a close life history of Nathaniel Hawthorne and how his life evolved over time. Accordingly, the works of Hawthorne are continually mentioned as his life continued to mature. One of the issues that is captured by this website is the fact that there is work that was done by Hawthorne that did not greatly impress him and his life later on. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2001) argues that Hawthorne later formally withdrew most of this early work, discounting it as the work of inexperienced youth. On the other hand, this university’s website reveals the fact that Hawthorne’s evolved around formal work and writing, with one occasion leading to the other, e.g. the losing of employment made Hawthorne to return to writing. It therefore acts as a credible source for an understanding of not only Hawthorne’s work but his life as well.

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