Academic journal article Nathaniel Hawthorne Review

The Letters from Grace Greenwood to DeWitt Miller

Academic journal article Nathaniel Hawthorne Review

The Letters from Grace Greenwood to DeWitt Miller

Article excerpt

Private and Confidential.

35 Lockwood Ave New Rochelle

Dec 8th 1903

Dear Mr. Miller--

I began a letter to you several days ago in acknowledgement of your kind favor of Nov 24th--and Nov 28th Washington--but concluded to wait before posting any reply until I could see the book to which you referred. But it did not arrive at our library here, and I must get a copy by subscribing to the "Tabard Inn" Library in New York,--as I do not wish to own a book containing so infamous a libel--My daughter was able to consult a copy at Putnam's yesterday, and took notes which horrified her and is almost prostrating me, who am just getting up from a fit of illness. When I tell you that the whole account is a mass of malicious falsehoods, with the slightest foundation for any statement at all--you can realize how it aggrieved and outraged me. When I am feeling a little better and get command enough of my nerves to write legibly, I will explain all I can myself understand--but I must confess "the mystery of iniquity" is a little beyond me. For these many years, I have regarded the Hawthorn[e] family as my friends--and now just when I need most to be at peace with all the world this calumny is sprung upon me!--My family are clamoring for a prosecution--for criminal libel. What do you think? Surely something must be done.

The only excuse that I can think of for the Hawthorn [e]s is that the "eye-witness" was a woman that was[,] I afterwards found out, "a snake in the grass,"--and unfriendly to me and my intimate friend with whom I afterwards spent the winter in Italy--Charlotte Cushman. …

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