Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1900. Large paper edition limited to 500 copies, of which this is 431. Twenty two volumes bound in half blue morocco over marbled boards with gilt to spines. Some sunning to spines and light rubbing at hinges; some hinges tender but overall tight and square. Internally clean and unmarked, featuring extensive illustrations.
Nathaniel Hawthorne thrilled nineteenth-century audiences with probing analyses of the legacies of America's colonial and Puritan past on later generations, and it is this perspective that continues to garner admiration today. Although Hawthorne first published an anonymous novel, Fanshawe, when he was barely out of college, it wasn't until his short story collections, Twice-Told Tales and Mosses from an Old Manse, that his writing attracted significant attention and he became associated with fellow literary luminaries such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Herman Melville. Hawthorne fused Gothic themes with American religious history to craft meticulous and haunting tales that grapple with the effects of guilt, sin, and hypocrisy. Through The Scarlet Letter, The Blithedale Romance, The House of the Seven Gables, and The Marble Faun, Hawthorne celebrated the imaginative possibilities that came from writing romance. In the Preface to The House of the Seven Gables, Hawthorne laid out his artistic vision, arguing that writing romance allowed him "to bring out or mellow the lights, and deepen and enrich the shadows, of the picture." Near Fine (Item #2788)