Study Guide

Nathaniel Hawthorne Writing The Scarlet Letter

Writing The Scarlet Letter

In 1846, Hawthorne published the well-received collection of short stories, Mosses From an Old Manse. Income from writing, however, was not enough to support his growing family, which by that time included two young children. Hawthorne received a politically appointed job at the Salem Custom House, and the family moved to the city of his birth. Hawthorne worked at the job for three years, and then in June 1849 he learned that he was losing his position due to a political shakeup. Six weeks after his firing, his mother died. Hawthorne fell into a deep depression tinged with fury toward his supervisors in Salem. "I detest this town so much that I hate to go out into the streets, or to have people see me,"

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