Nathaniel Hawthorne knew from an early age that he wanted to be a writer. As a teenager, his mother and uncle planned to send him to the medical school at Bowdoin College, a development to which he vocally rebelled. He insisted on his plans to be an author.Know More
Hawthorne's family name was actually "Hathorne." Hawthorne added the "w" to distance himself from ancestor John Hathorne, one of the most prominent judges in the Salem Witch Trials. Despite his initial objections, Hawthorne did end up attending Bowdoin College, though he did not attend the medical school. He had no particular area of focus in his study and graduated in 1825.
Hawthorne's first literary success, "Twice-Told Tales," was published 12 years after his graduation from college. He was a member of the Transcendentalist movement, and participated in the experimental Brook Farm, a utopian commune modeled on socialist concepts.
After being married, Hawthorne and his wife rented their first home from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Hawthorne's inspiration for writing "The Scarlet Letter" came from finding an old, worn letter "A" patch in the attic of his mother's home after her death. He was close friends with Herman Melville, and Melville dedicated "Moby Dick" to him.Learn more about Classics
Jack London was an author and journalist who lived from 1876 until 1916, and he is most famous for writing the adventure novels "Call of the Wild" and "White Fang." After working as a gold prospector in the Klondike, he returned home to San Francisco, California and began publishing his writings.Full Answer >
Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau had two older siblings and one younger sibling.Full Answer >
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck displayed as a young man many of the traits and ideas that would later become major thematic elements in works such as "The Grapes of Wrath," "Cannery Row" and "Of Mice and Men." At the age of 19, Steinbeck interrupted a sermon while visiting his mother's church when he felt that the minister's preaching placed a greater emphasis on the hunger of the soul over the hunger of the body for food. The young author's outburst made a point of comparing the satisfied congregation to the people outside the church who were hungry for "a crust of bread" and could not earn enough to feed themselves.Full Answer >
While the exact reason is unknown, there are several theories regarding why Nathaniel Hawthorne changed his last name. For example, some historians speculate that Nathaniel changed his last name from Hathorne to Hawthorne simply to change the way his surname was pronounced.Full Answer >