Hawthorne's Last Phase

Hawthorne's Last Phase

Hawthorne's Last Phase

Hawthorne's Last Phase

Excerpt

After nearly seven years' residence abroad, Hawthorne believed that he had come home to his native land and could find there the quiet he had never known in England or on the Continent. Day after day he climbed to his new Italianate tower at the rear of his house in Concord and tried to spin those magical tales which had made his name so famous ten years before. But everything went wrong. He was worn and ill; his daughter Una suffered recurrent attacks of the Roman fever she had contracted in 1858; he felt driven to publish one more novel--just one--so that his son and daughters might obtain an education and his wife be left in comfort if he should die first; and in his own country he felt lost in the Civil War which broke out within a year after his return. Still he toiled over hundreds of pages of closely written manuscripts and yet, despite the soothing words of his friends and the generosity of his publishers, who stood read to advance sums for unwritten romances, he could not bring himself to complete a single tale which he would show even to his wife. At his death Mrs. Hawthorne was astounded to discover piles and piles of unfinished romances which she and the children published one by one throughout the next nineteen years: . . .

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