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Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 7: romance, poetry, and history (search)
eface to Mosses from an Old Manse, his second collection of stories. After three years in the Custom-House at Salem, his dismissal in 1849 gave him leisure to produce his masterpiece, The Scarlet letter, published in 1850. He was now forty-six. In 1851, he published The House of the seven Gables, the Wonder-book, and The snow-image, and other tales. In 1852 came The Blithedale romance, a rich ironical story drawn from his Brook Farm experience. Four years in the American Consulate at Liverpool and three subsequent years of residence upon the Continent saw no literary harvest except carefully filled notebooks and the deeply imaginative moral romance, The Marble Faun. Hawthorne returned home in 1860 and settled in the Wayside at Concord, busying himself with a new, and, as was destined, a never completed story about the elixir of immortality. But his vitality was ebbing, and in May, 1864, he passed away in his sleep. He rests under the pines in Sleepy Hollow, near the Alcotts a