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Gothic Literature in Special Collections

An overview of Gothic Literature held in Special Collections at Hornbake Library

Brief Biography

Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) is not often thought of as a Gothic author. Credited mainly with his moral tale The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne's works are usually resigned to the Dark romantic genre. However, while his works don't explicitly include supernatural figures, their focus on societal isolation and their typical atmospheric setting of colonial New England imbue the works with a distinctly Gothic feel. Hawthorne's final and unfinished novel, Septimius Felton, is perhaps the culmination of his tentative forays into the Gothic, detailing one man's quest for eternal life, and featuring supernatural women, disappearances, and murders.