This volume provides a comprehensive overview of Nathaniel Hawthorne and demonstrates why he continues to be a critically significant figure in American literature. The first section focuses on Hawthorne's interest in and knowledge of past (Puritan and colonial) and contemporary nineteenth-century history (women's, African American, Native American) as the inspiration for his writings and the source of his literary success. The second section explores his fascination with social history and popular culture by examining topics as mesmerism, utopian life styles, theatrical performances, and artistic innovations. The third section looks at how Hawthorne succeeded and excelled in the literary marketplace, as an author of children's literature, literary sketches, and historical romances. In the fourth section, Hawthorne's literary precursors, peers, colleagues, and successors are analyzed. In the final section, Hawthorne's attachment to family, nature, and home is examined as the source of creative inspiration and philosophical questing.
Table of Contents
Introduction: cultural contexts Monika Elbert; Part I. Hawthorne and History: 1. Puritan themes Michael Colacurcio; 2. American Revolution Derek Pacheco; 3. Native American presence Laura L. Mielke; 4. Slavery and the Civil War Larry J. Reynolds; 5. Race and ethnicity Leonardo Buonomo; 6. Capitalism and social class Joel Pfister; 7. Women's Rights Movement Nancy Sweet; 8. Religion Martin Kevorkian; Part II. Popular Culture and Social Movements: 9. Utopianism Evert Jan van Leeuwen; 10. Mesmerism and other pseudo-sciences Samuel Coale; 11. Urban landscapes Ellen Weinauer; 12. Gender roles David Greven; 13. Melodrama and drama Margaret Jay Jessee; 14. Visual arts Susan S. Williams; 15. Cinematic adaptations Kristen Boudreau; Part III. Hawthorne and the Literary Marketplace: 16. Print culture Lesley Ginsberg; 17. American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge David Cody; 18. Literary sketches Kristie Hamilton; 19. Children's literature Laura Laffrado; 20. Romance genre Leland S. Person; 21. The unfinished romances Magnus Ullén; Part IV. Hawthorne and Literary Traditions: 22. Romantic predecessors Michael Cody; 23. Hawthorne and Poe Richard Kopley; 24. Hawthorne and Melville Les Harrison; 25. Transcendentalism Jonathan Murphy; 26. Sentiment and sentimentality Marianne Noble; 27. Gothic fiction Alfred Bendixen; 28. Science fiction Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock; 29. Transnationalism and magical realism Ricardo Miguel-Alfonso; Part V. Family and Place: 30. Marriage Patricia Valenti; 31. Hawthorne's biographers Frederick Newberry; 32. Natural landscapes Steven Petersheim; 33. Salem, Bowdoin, and Concord Melissa McFarland Pennell; 34. Hawthorne in England James Hewitson; 35. Hawthorne in Italy Rita Bode; Further reading; Index.