Excerpts from Margaret B. Moore's book, The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne,
in which she discusses the role of Robert Manning in Hawthorne's life. (courtesy
of the University
of Missouri Press)
"…since he [Robert Manning] was the main male authority who actually stayed in the house [at 10 ˝ Herbert St.] for great periods of time, he was naturally the one on whom Nathaniel could lay his resentment….  Dominating older men do show up in various of Hawthorne's sketches and tales who may well be reflections of the child's view of the uncle, but he described himself later as his 'affectionate nephew,' and as an adult he helped Uncle Robert with the writing of his articles and a book on horticulture (CE 15: 209). Robert was also the uncle to whom, from those letters preserved, Nathaniel wrote the most. These two, though unlike, do seem to connect, whereas Hawthorne and his uncle Richard do not, despite similar interests. Of course, the distance between them would make a difference" (61).