Important dates-- Nathaniel Hawthorne was born to Elizabeth Clarke Manning and Nathaniel Hathorne, on 4 July 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. His father was a Captain in the U. S. Navy. Unfortunately, his father died when Nathaniel was four. Hawthorne studied at the Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, from 1821-1824.One of his first novels, Fanshawe, was published in 1828. He later wrote Twice Told Tales in 1837. He wrote a biography on American President, Franklin Pierce, in 1852
Families— Hawthorne seems to have one sister. When his father died, his family lived with his grandparents. Hawthorne ancestors were Puritans who settled in New England. One of his grandfathers was an official during the Salem Witch Trial. In 1842, Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody. They had three daughters. They lived in Concorde, Massachusetts.
In 1853, the family travelled to Liverpool, England. He worked as a U.S. Consul. The family traveled all over Europe and lived for a while in France and Italy. Hawthorne wrote The Marble Faun (1860) while in Italy. He died on 19 May, 1864 from stomach illness.
Education—Hawthorne attended the Bowdoin College in Brunswick, from 1821-1824. One of his school mates was Franklin Pierce. Hawthorne liked to read while at college and his short stories and essays were being published while he was still in college.
Social and economic status— Hawthorne was from a middle- working class family. He had wealthy relatives on his mother’s side. His college expenses were funded by his maternal grandparents. As a college student he worked part-time as a bookkeeper for his uncle and tried to write in his spare time. After he graduated, he started to write but did not get much success, so he was not able to lead a comfortable life. In 1841, Hawthorne lived for less than a year in the Transcendentalists community. Although he was not impressed with the life here, some of his later work was influenced by the community.
Religion—Hawthorne did not did not have any particular religious beliefs. It would seem that he hated the Puritan way of life and its teachings. The Scarlet Letter shows this dislike. He did not approve of the Puritans religious intolerance and their suppression of nature and natural ways. The main character of Scarlet Letter exposes the Puritan community’s cruel ways.
Major events that affected his/her writing---His writings may have been influenced by his enjoyment of reading. His family’s background of Puritanical early settlers and his grandparent’s involvement in the Salem Witch Trials may have influenced him. This involvement provided a theme for many of his writings, which included The House of Seven Gables.
During the Civil Wars and after his tour of battlefields and a meeting with Abraham Lincoln he wrote an essay” A Peaceable Man”.
Major works published or written-- Scarlet Letter (1850);