Nathaniel Hawthorne, an American writer born in Salem,
grew up with his widowed mother and his books. He attended
college and returned to Salem with intentions to be a writer.
He published his first novel in 1828, and was disappointed by
its failure. Undeterred, he continued his writing career,
submitting stories to New England magazines. Several of
his stories were compiled into "Twice-Told Tales", whose success established him as a writer in 1837.
Hawthorne was heavily influenced by his Puritan heritage.
One of Hawthorne's forefathers was Judge Hathorne, who
presided over the Salem witch trials in 1692. Hawthorne
carried so much guilt for his ancestor's participation in the
infamous trials that he felt compelled to change his last name.
Hawthorne's sensitivity to guilt is clearly present in the "Scarlet
Letter", as well as some of his other works. Other personal
influences reflected in Hawthorne's writing include his love
of reading and nature. As a child, Hawthorne was injured in
a game of ball and spent several years mostly indoors, owing
to the temporary lameness resulting from the injury. It was
during this period that he learned to love Shakespeare and
the Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, as well as other
important pieces of English literature. Later, Hawthorne and
his family moved to another city to live on some family property
in the country. For several years, which he later referred to as
the happiest period of his life, Hawthorne spent all his time
roaming the forest, hunting and fishing. The freedom he felt
in nature is often represented in the Scarlet Letter.
Later Hawthorne married a woman named Sophia, but
didn't seem to have a high opinion of women writers of the
time. However, Hawthorne's literary style was so highly stylized
and romanticized that he sometimes received the same brand
of criticism. Still, Hawthorne was hailed as an insightful
writer, who was able to craft novels revolving around such
sensitive topics as adultery because of his established reputation
as an important author of his time.
1. Was Nathaniel Hawthorne an English or an American
2. When did he begin to work?
3. What was name of his first novel?
4. Why did Hawthorne change the spelling of his surname?
5. What did he do in the last years of his life?
widow — вдова
intention — намерение
heritage — прошлое
forefather — предок
witch — ведьма
to be injured — быть травмированным
property — имущество
to roam — бродить