In this episode, Jacke discusses the life and works of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), including his major themes, the distinction he drew between “romances” and “novels,” his friendship with Herman Melville, his childhood in Salem, and his uneasy relationship with his Puritan ancestors. We also declare a Tweet of the Week (which fits right into our Hawthorne discussion) and look ahead to our deep dive into Hawthorne’s masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter (1850).
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Today, Herman Melville (1819-1891) is considered one of the greatest of American writers, and a leading candidate for THE American novelist thanks to his classic work, Moby-Dick. How did this unpromising student become one of the most inventive and observant writers of his time? What obstacles did he face, and what did he do to overcome them? What other works of his are worth reading? Jacke, Mike, and special guest Cristina, aka The Classics Slacker, who recently spent 24 hours aboard the Charles W. Morgan listening to the novel being read, take a look at this fascinating man and his whale of a book.
Enjoy 19th-Century American authors? Try Episode 90, Mark Twain’s Final Request.
Wondering how Melville got his ideas? Learn more about one of his inspirations in Episode 111 – The Americanest American, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Ready for more adventure? Try Episode 82 – Robinson Crusoe.
Support the show at patreon.com/literature. Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to email@example.com.