Hawthorne's Habitations

ISBN : 9780199917259

Robert Milder
336 Pages
168 x 241 mm
Pub date
Jan 2013
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The first literary/biographical study of Hawthorne's full career in almost forty years, Hawthorne's Habitations presents a self-divided man and writer strongly attracted to reality for its own sake and remarkably adept at rendering it yet fearful of the nothingness he intuited at its heart. Making extensive use of Hawthorne's notebooks and letters as well as nearly all of his important fiction, Robert Milder's superb intellectual biography distinguishes between "two Hawthornes," then maps them onto the physical and cultural locales that were formative for Hawthorne's character and work: Salem, Massachusetts, Hawthorne's ancestral home and ingrained point of reference; Concord, Massachusetts, where came into contact with Emerson, Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller and absorbed the Adamic spirit of the American Renaissance; England, where he served for five years as consul in Liverpool, incorporating an element of Englishness; and Italy, where he found himself, like Henry James's expatriate Americans, confronted by an older, denser civilization morally and culturally at variance with his own.


Chapter 1: Two Hawthornes
Chapter 2: Telling it Slant
Chapter 3: The Wild and the Good
Chapter 4: Undoing it All
Chapter 5: Hawthorne and the Problem of New England
Chapter 6: Sisters Act
Chapter 7: In the Belly of the Beast
Chapter 8: Indian Summer
Chapter 9: A Fine Bewilderment
Chapter 10: On the Crust
Coda: Last Words

About the author: 

Robert Milder, Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, is the author of Reimagining Thoreau and Exiled Royalties: Melville and the Life We Imagine and the coeditor of The Business of Reflection: Hawthorne in His Notebooks.

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