Little biographical interest attaches to Hawthorne's first work, beyond the fact that Mr. Longfellow found in the descriptions and general atmosphere of the book a decided suggestion of the situation of Bowdoin College, at Brunswick, Maine, and the life there at the time when he and Hawthorne were both undergraduates of that institution.
d, if he asked more of me, it should be done with a willing heart. I remember in my youth, when my worldly goods were few and ill managed (I was a bachelor, then, dearest Sarah, with none to look after my household), how many times I have been beholden to him. And see--in his letter he speaks of presents, of the produce of the country, which he has sent both to you and me."
"If the girl were country-bred," continued the lady, "we might give her house-room, and no harm done. Nay, she might even be a help to me; for Esther, our maid-servant, leaves us at the mouth's end. But I warrant she knows as little of household matters as you do yourself, doctor."
"My friend's sister was well grounded in the re familiari" answered her husband; "and doubtless she hath imparted somewhat of her skill to this damsel. Besides, the child is of tender years, and will profit much by your instruction and mine."
"The child is eighteen years of age, doctor," observed Mrs. Melmoth, "and she has cause to
Nathaniel Hawthorne spent many years attempting to track down extant copies of this, one of his earliest works, in order to destroy them. He failed, but his efforts assured the success of the book's republication after his death.
Fanshawe is a romantic tale that includes all the too good and very bad people that you would expect taking all of the contrived paths you would expect.
The end of the novel is less exciting than expected but purely Hawthorne.