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Critical Commentary Related to Houses where Hawthorne Lived in Salem

Critical Commentary Related to Houses where Hawthorne Lived in Salem

House in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804
House in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804 (photography by Aaron Toleos)
 
  • 10 Herbert St [LINK TO MMD 11 FOR MODERN MAP ]
    In Hawthorne's time, this may have been 12 Herbert St.; there is no 12 Herbert St. today. In Salem directories, the house is usually listed as 10 Herbert St. As parts of the house were at times rented, this may have resulted in the altered house numbers.

    Hawthorne moved into this house at 10 1/2 Herbert St. with his widowed mother and two sisters during the spring of 1808. In his journals he refers to this house as

"Castle Dismal." When the Hathornes moved in, the house was owned and occupied by Hawthorne's mother's parents, the Mannings, and their eight children. The house was crowded, and Margaret Moore and others refer to Nathaniel sleeping in the same bed with his uncle Robert (age 24 when Nathaniel was 4), but in her book The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Moore explains that beds were in short supply in large families in early nineteenth century New England (60). Some have suggested that Robert may have had sexual relations with Nathaniel, but there is no evidence to support this.