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Nathaniel Hawthorne born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts
into a prestigious New England family whose ancestry stretched back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Hawthorne’s father, a sea captain, died when he was four, and he and his siblings were raised by his widowed mother, who eventually moved the family closer to her relatives in Maine. There he attended Bowdoin College, where he became friends with the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
After many years away he returned to Salem and started to write stories about the area, many of which were published in his collection, Twice-told Tales (1837). He accepted a political appointment at the Boston Custom House, followed by a short stay at the Transcendentalist experimental community, Brook Farm. After he married his wife Sophia Peabody, they settled in Concord, Massachusetts, where he wrote Mosses from an Old Manse (1846). Returning to Salem as a customs agent sparked the idea for his most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter (1850), which was quickly followed by The House of the Seven Gables (1851) and The Blithedale Romance (1852), the latter based on his stay at Brook Farm. His final political appointment took him to Liverpool, England, as American Consul, and after the publication of The Marble Faun in 1860, he found himself unable to finish any more
stories. He passed away in 1864.