In their introduction to Hawthorne and Women: Engendering and Expanding the Hawthorne Tradition, John L. Idol, Jr. and Melinda Ponder note
Hawthorne's sympathetic view of older and impoverished women.
"He knew first hand about the cruel impoverishment of single women like his widowed mother and unmarried aunts and, later, his own sisters. His
relationships with these women were positive on the whole. He learned of their abilities and respected their strengths" (Idol and Ponder 4).
(courtesy of University of Massachusetts Press)