Hawthorne and His Mosses

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Hawthorne and His Mosses by Herman Melville.pdf

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Hawthorne and His Mosses 1850 is an essay and critical review by Herman Melville of the short story collection Mosses from an Old Manse written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1846 Published anonymously by a Virginian spending July in Vermont , it appeared in the New York Literary World magazine in two issues August 17 and August 24, 1850 An early, literary expression of the mid nineteenth century Young America movement, the work has been cited as an important commentary on, and analysis of, the emerging New American Literature Melville met the author Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnic and an ensuing hike up Monument Mountain in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts on August 5, 1850 Also among the hikers were James Thomas Fields, Cornelius Mathews, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr Melville and Hawthorne established an immediate and intense connection As a local journalist would later write the two were compelled to take shelter in a narrow recess of the rocks Two hours of enforced intercourse settled the matter They learned so much of each other s character, and found that they held so much of thought, feeling and opinion in common, that the most intimate friendship for the future was inevitable Melville had previously been given a copy of Mosses from an Old Manse as a gift but had not read it It is unclear if he began writing the review of the book before or after meeting Hawthorne He was, however, certainly impressed by Hawthorne and, though the book had been published four years previously, he completed his review Another of the hikers, Evert Augustus Duyckinck, publisher of the periodical New York Literary World, offered to delay his departure for New York city until the manuscript was ready As publisher of Hawthorne and friend of Melville, he saw its appearance in his magazine as a win win situation Before learning the identity of the then anonymous author, Hawthorne s wife Sophia declared the essay to be written by the first person who has ever, in print apprehended Mr Hawthorne When she discovered it was Melville, she called him an invaluable person, full of daring September 28, 1891 was an American novelist, writer of short stories, and poet from the American Renaissance period The bulk of his writings was published between 1846 and 1857 Best known for his whaling novel Moby Dick 1851 , he is also legendary for having been forgotten during the last thirty years of his life Melville s writing is characteristic for its allusivity In Melville s manipulation of his reading , scholar Stanley T Williams wrote, was a transforming power comparable to Shakespeare s Born in New York City, he was the third child of a merchant in French dry goods, with Revolutionary War heroes for grandfathers Not long after the death of his father in 1832, his schooling stopped abruptly After having been a schoolteacher for a short time, he signed up for a merchant voyage to Liverpool in 1839 A year and a half into his first whaling voyage, in 1842 he jumped ship in the Marquesas Islands, where he lived among the natives for a month His first book, Typee 1846 , became a huge best seller, which called for a sequel, Omoo 1847 The same year Melville married Elizabeth Knapp Shaw their four children were all born between 1849 and 1855.

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