A commemorative postage stamp on Nathaniel Hawthorne :
Issued by United States of America
Issued on Jul 8, 1983
Design : The veteran stamp designer, Bradbury Thompson of Riverside, Connecticut, designed the U.S. commemorative stamp honoring Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Denomination : 20 cents
Name : Nathaniel Hathorne
Born on Jul 4, 1804 at Salem, Massachusetts, United States
Died on May 19, 1864 at Plymouth, New Hampshire, United States
- Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was a leading literary figure of the 19th century and one of the most distinguished American authors of all time. His body of work is a rich treasure of short stories, sketches, commentaries and full-length novels. The Scarlet Letter, a novel of sin and suffering in Puritan New England, ranks as a masterpiece of American fiction.
- Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the son of a ship’s captain. Among his prominent ancestors was the judge in the community’s notorious witchcraft trials. Lame from birth, young Nathaniel was unable to join in the boyhood activities of his contemporaries. Instead, he turned to great books for his pleasure, and became steeped in the writings of Shakespeare, Milton and Rousseau, among others. His first real exposure to the outside world came at the age of seventeen, when he entered Bowdoin College in Maine.
- After completing his education, Hawthorne returned to his Salem life of solitude and contemplation. A once-a-year summer journey through the New England countryside provided the background and first-hand observations that were basis of his earliest writings. Hawthorne penned more than a hundred shirt stories and sketches between 1825 and 1850, while beginning work on his later novels.
- The underlying theme of most of his work is the conflict between Puritan ideals and the more liberal attitudes of 19th century society. It is the theme of Hawthorne’s most famous work, The Scarlet Letter, as well as The House of Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance and many of the stories collected in Twice–Told Tales.
- In 1853, Hawthorne’s Bowdoin College classmate and close friend, President Franklin Pierce, appointed him to serve as the U.S. consul in Liverpool, England. He spent the next seven years living in Europe, England and Italy and gathering background material for future novels. He died in 1864, four years after his return to America, while visiting New Hampshire with Franklin Pierce.