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Nathaniel Hawthorne Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne enjoyed a very happy marriage. They also enjoyed (very un-Puritanically) a satisfying sex life. "The truly married alone can know what a wondrous instrument [sex] is for the purposes of the heart," Sophia Hawthorne once said. Hubba hubba.23

Henry David Thoreau planted a vegetable garden for newlyweds Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne as a wedding present.24

Herman Melville was writing a novel and suffering from serious writer's block when he read Hawthorne's short story collection Mosses From an Old Manse. He was inspired, and eventually dedicated his finished novel, Moby Dick, to Hawthorne.25

As a child Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote stories in a homemade "invisible ink" of skim milk.26

As a student at Bowdoin College, Hawthorne bet fellow student Jonathan Cilley a case of Madeira wine that he (Hawthorne) would still be single twelve years later. (He won the bet. Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody five days after his 38th birthday.)27

Hawthorne burned his first short story collection, Seven Tales of My Native Land, after publishers rejected it.28

Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne were so poor in the early days of their marriage in Concord, Massachusetts that they sold apples, potatoes, and grass before Nathaniel finally got a job at the customs house in 1846.29

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