An inclusive, serious biography of Hawthorne which closely appraises the man, his life and works, and also gives a detailed picture of his times, extensive accounts of the lives of his famous friends and contemporaries. Hawthorne's heritage from his sea-captain forebears; his childhood in Salem and Maine; the wild, casual college years at Bowdoin; the later impoverished, solitary years as a writer which included the dull routine of work at the Custom House. Dispelling the legend that Hawthorne lived a life of despondency and morbid seclusion, he shows that Hawthorne's interest in scenes of violence, his active part in Democratic politics, brought much excitement and hazard. And there are detailed references to Emerson, Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Horace Mann, the Peabodys, the Channings, etc. etc. who played an influential part in his life... A full- length biography which combines literary criticism with personal history- perhaps too monumental in its research save for the student and scholar.