The narrative of Hawthorne's life has been partly told in the autobiographical passages of his writings which he himself addressed to his readers from time to time, and in the series of "Note Books," not meant for publication but included in his posthumous works; the remainder is chiefly contained in the family biography, "Nathaniel Hawthorne and his Wife" by his son Julian Hawthorne, "Memories of Hawthorne" by his daughter, Mrs. Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, and "A Study of Hawthorne," by his son-in-law, George Parsons Lathrop. Collateral material is also to be found abundantly in books of reminiscences by his contemporaries. These are the printed sources of the present biography.
a log cabin where half a tree would be burning on the broad hearth. I would sit in the ample chimney, and look at the stars through the great aperture through which the flames went roaring up. Ah, how well I recall the summer days, also, when with my gun I roamed at will through the woods of Maine!" In these memories, it is evident, many years, younger and older, are diffused in one recollection. For him, here rather than by his native sea were those open places of freedom that boyhood loves, and with them he associated the beginnings of his spirit,--the dark as well as the bright; near his end he told Fields, as his mind wandered back to these days, "I lived in Maine like a bird of the air, so perfect was the freedom I enjoyed. But it was there I first got my cursed habits of solitude." The tone of these reminiscences is verified by his letters, when he went back to Salem; in the first months he writes of "very hard fits of homesickness;" a year later he breaks out,--"Oh, that I had the wings of a dove, that
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