This is another study of Nathaniel Hawthorne, by the well- known biographer, critic and anthologist. It is less a biography than a series of notes, some of them occasioned by newly found material, about Hawthorne- as a writer, a friend, a consul, a husband, a political and religious thinker, and of course as the author of very fine symbolical novels. Hawthorne was a strange genius- compounded of dreams and practicality. The dreams seem to have predominated and when they burned themselves out, Hawthorne at the age of sixty quietly died. This book is both just and admiring, but it somehow fails to convey the peculiar magic that was Hawthorne's. Perhaps this is to be expected- others have tried many times and never been successful- and the only way to grasp this elusive genius is to read his books.