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Excerpt from "Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Morning of His Life His Boyhood Years and Emergence as an Artist Part One. Images: The Worlds of Hawthorne's Childhood" by Dr. Melinda Ponder, September, 1981, an essay submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master's degree in American Studies at Boston College (courtesy of Dr. Melinda Ponder)

On Nathaniel’s arrival at his Uncle Richard’s house in Raymond, Maine
“Nathaniel could see that Uncle Richard's house was very different from his Grandfather Manning's austere and functional house in crowded, noisy Salem. Richard had succeeded in creating a home filled with grace and beauty in the midst of a vast land being cleared for farms--a home which would have appealed to Nathaniel. Always fascinated by architectural structures, he would later write wonderfully detailed descriptions of interior spaces which help situate his ‘romances’ in a tangible world. He also felt that houses could embody the qualities of the people they sheltered, likening the weathered house which takes on a central symbolic role in The House of the Seven Gables to a human face. ‘The aspect of the venerable mansion has always affected me like a human countenance bearing the traces not merely of outward storm and sunshine, but expressive also, of the long lapse of mortal life and accompanying vicissitudes that have passed within.’”



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