Quiz about Nathaniel Hawthorne  A Glimpse into His Life
Quiz about Nathaniel Hawthorne  A Glimpse into His Life

Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Glimpse into His Life Quiz


What do you know about the life of one of the United States' greatest writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne?

A multiple-choice quiz by alaspooryoric. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
377,018
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
186
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
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This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born Nathaniel Hathorne in Salem, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1804. Why did he add the "w" to his last name? Hint

He thought the "aw" (as in "thaw") was more phonetically pleasing than the "a" (as in "hat").
He wanted to separate himself from one of his ancestors who had been a judge in the shameful Salem Witch Trials
He wanted to spite his father with whom he had irreconcilable differences because of his choice to be a writer.
The printer of his first book misspelled his name on the book's cover, so he continued to spell it with a "w".

2. In 1821, Nathaniel Hawthorne began to attend Bowdoin College in Maine where he met Franklin Pierce, who eventually became President of the United States, and the two became lifelong friends. However, he also attended class with another individual who went on to become one of America's most popular poets. Who was this individual? Hint

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Oliver Wendell Holmes
John Greenleaf Whittier
Robert Frost

3. As early as 1825, Nathaniel Hawthorne had attempted to publish a collection of his short stories in a book he entitled "Seven Tales of My Native Land"; however, when publisher after publisher rejected it, he threw his copy in the fire. In 1837, his third attempt at publishing a book of stories was successful. Assuming that his third book would be rejected just as the first two had been, what self-deprecating title did Hawthorne give this collection of stories? Hint

Tanglewood Tales
Twice-Told Tales
A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys
Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage

4. According to speculation, Nathaniel Hawthorne challenged the future editor of the "Democratic Review", John O'Sullivan, to a duel over Mary Silsbee, who lived in Salem. However, at some point in 1838, Hawthorne was secretly engaged to the younger sister of another woman he had seemed romantically interested in previously. What is the name of this woman who eventually became Hawthorne's wife? Hint

Phoebe Pyncheon
Anne Hathaway
Sophia Peabody
Virginia Clemm

5. In 1841, Nathaniel Hawthorne took up residence for seven months on a "commune" influenced by Transcendentalist ideals. While there, Hawthorne's job primarily consisted of shoveling manure. What was the name of this short-lived experiment in Transcendental communal living? Hint

Lowell Lawn
Jonestown
Brook Farm
Walden

6. In 1842, Nathaniel Hawthorne and his newly wed wife moved into a home in Concord, Massachusetts, known as the Old Manse. The couple carved messages to each other with her diamond ring in one of the upstairs windows, and Hawthorne composed enough stories to publish another collection he called "Mosses from an Old Manse". To which famous resident of Concord did Hawthorne pay rent of $100 a year to live there for three years? Hint

James Fennimore Cooper
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
Washington Irving

7. In 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne was invited to a picnic, where he met another great American writer, and the two became good friends for a time. This younger author was so in awe of Hawthorne's ability to write that he had written a glowing review of Hawthorne's "Mosses from an Old Manse" called "Hawthorne and his Mosses" and in 1851 wrote the following dedication inside "Moby-Dick": "In token of my admiration for his genius, this book is inscribed to Nathaniel Hawthorne". Who is this other great American author? Hint

Edgar Allan Poe
Mark Twain
Herman Melville
Stephen Crane

8. Except for the anonymously published 1828 novel "Fanshawe", of which he was always embarrassed, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote and published mostly short stories until 1850, when, with the publication of his masterpiece "The Scarlet Letter", he began to focus more on the art of novel writing. Which one of the following titles is NOT a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne from 1851 to 1860? Hint

The House of the Seven Gables
The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles
The Blithedale Romance
The Marble Faun

9. In 1852, Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family were back in Concord living in an old Alcott home the Hawthornes renamed The Wayside. That same year, Hawthorne's longtime friend Franklin Pierce, who was running for President of the United States, asked him to write a campaign biography. Hawthorne produced "The Life of Franklin Pierce". After Pierce was elected President, how did he reward Nathaniel Hawthorne? Hint

He presented Hawthorne a new carriage and two horses.
He appointed Hawthorne Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.
He appointed Hawthorne U. S. Consul to Britain.
He appointed Hawthorne U. S. Secretary of the Interior.

10. After complaining for some time of a pain in his stomach, Nathaniel Hawthorne decided to take a "recuperative trip" beginning in early May of 1864. He died in his sleep on the 19th of that month at the age of 59 at a hotel in Plymouth, New Hampshire. The man with whom he was traveling telegrammed Hawthorne's sister-in-law to tell her of his death. With whom was Hawthorne traveling when he died? Hint

Editor of the "Atlantic Monthly" James Thomas Fields
Poet William Ellery Channing
U. S. Secretary of State William H. Seward
President Franklin Pierce


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born Nathaniel Hathorne in Salem, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1804. Why did he add the "w" to his last name?

Answer: He wanted to separate himself from one of his ancestors who had been a judge in the shameful Salem Witch Trials

John Hathorne, Nathaniel Hawthorne's great-great-grandfather, was one of the leading judges during the infamous Salem Witch Trials, which occurred during the early 1690s. Nineteen people were executed after being charged with the crime of being witches. John Hathorne seems to be the only authority figure who never repented of his role in the deaths of these innocent citizens.

Embarrassed by his ancestor's reputation, Nathaniel Hawthorne added the "w" at some point in his 20s. His preoccupation with his family's history seems to have had an impact on his view of the power of the past on a person's present life, a theme prominent in several of his works, such as "The Scarlet Letter".
2. In 1821, Nathaniel Hawthorne began to attend Bowdoin College in Maine where he met Franklin Pierce, who eventually became President of the United States, and the two became lifelong friends. However, he also attended class with another individual who went on to become one of America's most popular poets. Who was this individual?

Answer: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

While Hawthorne did graduate with a degree, he described his college experience in this manner: "I was educated (as the phrase is) at Bowdoin College. I was an idle student, negligent of college rules and the Procrustean details of academic life, rather choosing to nurse my own fancies than to dig into Greek roots and be numbered among the learned Thebans". Apparently, Hawthorne never wanted to attend college in the first place, but his uncle Robert Manning insisted that he go and even paid his tuition for him.

While there, he also met and became friends with Jonathan Cilley, a future Congressman, and Horatio Bridge, a future naval reformer.
3. As early as 1825, Nathaniel Hawthorne had attempted to publish a collection of his short stories in a book he entitled "Seven Tales of My Native Land"; however, when publisher after publisher rejected it, he threw his copy in the fire. In 1837, his third attempt at publishing a book of stories was successful. Assuming that his third book would be rejected just as the first two had been, what self-deprecating title did Hawthorne give this collection of stories?

Answer: Twice-Told Tales

Hawthorne devised the title of his collection of stories "Twice-Told Tales" from a couple of lines found in William Shakespeare's play "The Life and Death of King John": "Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, / Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man" (Act 3, Scene 4). He felt the title was appropriate for two reasons: one, as I mentioned in the question, he felt his stories weren't interesting enough to be published, and, two, the stories had truly been told before as they had all been published individually and anonymously by Hawthorne in various periodicals.

Hawthorne's friends from college contributed to the book's success. Horatio Bridge not only convinced Hawthorne to collect all of his individually published stories into a book for publication, but he left Hawthorne little room to refuse by covering Hawthorne's risk of losing money on a failed publication by giving Hawthorne $250. Furthermore, after the book's publication, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow more than positively reviewed Hawthorne's stories in the prestigious "North American Review".

"Twice-Told Tales" includes the following stories among many others: "The Minister's Black Veil", "Wakefield", "The May-Pole of Merry Mount", "The Great Carbuncle", and "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment". He published a second volume of "Twice-Told Tales" in 1842.

By the way, the second failed attempt at Hawthorne's getting a book published was entitled "Provincial Tales". "Tanglewood Tales" and "A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys" are collections of stories written by Hawthorne. "Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage" is a collection of greatest hits by the American band R.E.M.
4. According to speculation, Nathaniel Hawthorne challenged the future editor of the "Democratic Review", John O'Sullivan, to a duel over Mary Silsbee, who lived in Salem. However, at some point in 1838, Hawthorne was secretly engaged to the younger sister of another woman he had seemed romantically interested in previously. What is the name of this woman who eventually became Hawthorne's wife?

Answer: Sophia Peabody

After flirting for a while with the American childhood education reformer Elizabeth Peabody (and giving her a copy of his book "Twice-Told Tales"), Hawthorne turned his attentions to her younger sister, Sophia, whom he married in 1842. Sophia Peabody was a painter and illustrator who also suffered from severe migraine headaches that occasionally left her bed-ridden. To save money for married life and for medical care for Sophia, Hawthorne took a job as a salt and coal measurer in the Boston Custom House, where he worked in 1839 and 1840. This job should not be confused with his employment later at the Salem Custom House, which he satirized in a lengthy essay that served as a preface to his novel "The Scarlet Letter". Hawthorne's Democratic friends had found Hawthorne a job at this second custom house, but when the Whigs came into power, they fired Hawthorne, who, very bitter at that point, exacted vengeance on them through his essay.

Nathaniel and Sophia had three children--Una, Julian, and Rosa. Julian became professionally known as a writer like his father while Rosa became the famous nun and social worker Mother Mary Alphonsa. Una, the eldest, was named after the pure lady that travels with the Redcrosse Knight in Spencer's "The Faerie Queene".

Anne Hathaway married William Shakespeare, and Virginia Clemm married Edgar Allan Poe. Phoebe Pyncheon is the name of a character in Hawthorne's novel "The House of the Seven Gables".
5. In 1841, Nathaniel Hawthorne took up residence for seven months on a "commune" influenced by Transcendentalist ideals. While there, Hawthorne's job primarily consisted of shoveling manure. What was the name of this short-lived experiment in Transcendental communal living?

Answer: Brook Farm

Brook Farm, as a Utopian experiment in communal living, existed from 1841 to 1847, when it was forced to close due to financial ruin. It existed about nine miles outside of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, on the Ellis Farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, and was founded by George and Sophia Ripley. The mission of the experiment was to allow people the ability to achieve the kind of spiritual growth advocated by the American philosophical movement Transcendentalism through a balanced life of work and leisure that would be accomplished by all the residents of the farm working together and sharing responsibilities so that the entire community was simultaneously benefitted as a whole. The community earned an income through agriculture and crafts. Despite the Farm's association with Transcendentalism, none of the leading Transcendentalists, such as Emerson or Thoreau or Fuller) ever took up residence there (though some visited it).

Hawthorne was one of the original founders but only as a financial backer, not as a true believer in the experiment. He put up $1000 deposit to help get Brook Farm up and running; however, his decision to live there was mostly a self-interested one. He did not fully support the experiment's goals or the ideals of Transcendentalism. Instead, as he was trying to save money for his marriage to Sophia Peabody, he was looking for a cheap place to live; Brook Farm allowed him to live without paying any rent or mortgage.
6. In 1842, Nathaniel Hawthorne and his newly wed wife moved into a home in Concord, Massachusetts, known as the Old Manse. The couple carved messages to each other with her diamond ring in one of the upstairs windows, and Hawthorne composed enough stories to publish another collection he called "Mosses from an Old Manse". To which famous resident of Concord did Hawthorne pay rent of $100 a year to live there for three years?

Answer: Ralph Waldo Emerson

The American poet, writer, philosopher, and Transcendentalist known as Ralph Waldo Emerson owned the Old Manse, which Emerson's grandfather had constructed in 1770. Emerson invited them to live there, having met Hawthorne's wife Sophia, who was a Transcendentalist herself, when she made a portrait for Emerson of Emerson's brother Charles. Sophia fell in love with the town of Concord and convinced her husband they had to move there. Emerson frequently invited Hawthorne to various social gatherings, but Hawthorne, who was often quite shy, would sit hardly saying a word at most of them. During his stay at the Old Manse, he met Henry David Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, and the poet Ellery Channing. In fact, Thoreau planted a garden as a wedding present for the Hawthornes before they moved into the house.

The Old Manse and its surrounding field are right next to the North Bridge, the famous site connected to the Battle of Concord that occurred during the American Revolution. Ralph Waldo Emerson's father watched the battle occur, and Ralph Waldo Emerson himself wrote a famous poem about the battle called "Concord Hymn" in which Emerson coined the expression "shot heard round the world".

The Old Manse is still available for viewing by tourists to this day, and one can go up to the room to see the window where Nathaniel and Sophia carved messages to each other in one of the window panes with her wedding ring.

The collection of stories that Hawthorne published while living there--"Mosses from an Old Manse"--includes "Young Goodman Brown", "Rappaccini's Daughter", "The Birth-Mark", and "The Artist of the Beautiful".
7. In 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne was invited to a picnic, where he met another great American writer, and the two became good friends for a time. This younger author was so in awe of Hawthorne's ability to write that he had written a glowing review of Hawthorne's "Mosses from an Old Manse" called "Hawthorne and his Mosses" and in 1851 wrote the following dedication inside "Moby-Dick": "In token of my admiration for his genius, this book is inscribed to Nathaniel Hawthorne". Who is this other great American author?

Answer: Herman Melville

By March of 1850, the Hawthornes had moved to Lenox, Massachusetts, and while living here a mutual friend of the Hawthornes and the Melvilles invited them all to a picnic. The friendship between Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville was a very significant one, for Hawthorne became a source of encouragement and inspiration to Melville while he was writing "Moby-Dick". Ten surviving letters that Melville wrote to Hawthorne during this time are an indication of how powerfully Melville looked up to Hawthorne as a writer and a friend.

However, the friendship eventually waned, and there is no evidence as to why. Perhaps, it simply faded as relationships sometimes do. However some have wondered if Hawthorne had grown embarrassed because he felt he had let Melville down in a couple of ways. Melville had suggested to Hawthorne an idea for a story, but Hawthorne could never quite come up with a satisfactory tale.

Then, as Melville was an impoverished man at the time and not a popular writer, Hawthorne had tried to use his connections with Franklin Pierce to get Melville a government job.

This failed. The last time the two of them met, which was in 1856 while Hawthorne was serving as an American Consul in Britain, they spent several pleasant days together. Hawthorne wrote in his journal the following words about Melville: " ... [H]e has a very high and noble nature, and better worth immortality than most of us".
8. Except for the anonymously published 1828 novel "Fanshawe", of which he was always embarrassed, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote and published mostly short stories until 1850, when, with the publication of his masterpiece "The Scarlet Letter", he began to focus more on the art of novel writing. Which one of the following titles is NOT a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne from 1851 to 1860?

Answer: The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles

"The House of the Seven Gables" was published in 1851. The American poet James Russell Lowell thought this novel was even better than "The Scarlet Letter" and referred to it as "the most valuable contribution to New England history that has been made". It is a gothic tale involving a New England home and the family associated with it. The book incorporates Hawthorne's typical themes of guilt, punishment, and redemption as well as his tendency to rely on elements of the supernatural, or at least hints of the supernatural. It apparently had a tremendous influence on the later writer H. P. Lovecraft.

"The Blithedale Romance" was published in 1852. The novel's plot and characters were influenced by Hawthorne's stay at Brook Farm, the Transcendental experiment at communal living. "The Blithedale Romance" is the only known fictional work of Hawthorne's to have been written from the first person point of view.

"The Marble Faun: Or, the Romance of Monte Beni" was published in 1860. The title and other elements of the novel were influenced by the Hawthornes' nearly year-and-a-half tour of Italy where Hawthorne encountered Praxiteles' "Faun" in the Palazzo Nuovo of the Capitoline Museum in Rome. The novel became quite popular in the late nineteenth century among Americans, who found the details of the novel served as a guide for them when they were traveling in Italy. The literary critic Harold Bloom insists that "The Marble Faun" and "The Scarlet Letter" are the greatest of Hawthorne's works. In fact, Harold Bloom contends that Nathaniel Hawthorne joins Henry James and William Faulkner as America's greatest writers.

"The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles" is a novella by Herman Melville, first published in 1854.
9. In 1852, Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family were back in Concord living in an old Alcott home the Hawthornes renamed The Wayside. That same year, Hawthorne's longtime friend Franklin Pierce, who was running for President of the United States, asked him to write a campaign biography. Hawthorne produced "The Life of Franklin Pierce". After Pierce was elected President, how did he reward Nathaniel Hawthorne?

Answer: He appointed Hawthorne U. S. Consul to Britain.

In 1853, Hawthorne and his family were stationed in Liverpool, and Hawthorne was so devoted to his job as U.S. Consul, particularly serving as an advocate for U.S. sailors who were abused by their officers, that he had little time for writing. He made a great amount of money, but he was left little choice but to resign his position in 1857 when President Pierce could not win the Democratic nomination to run for re-election. Rather than return home to the States, however, he and his family took a tour through France and then Italy that lasted nearly a year and a half. Unfortunately, the Hawthornes spent most of the money he had earned as consul, and his oldest daughter Una almost died after becoming ill with malaria.

Hawthorne lived on the Wirral side of the Mersey during his time in Liverpool. All that's left of his home now, following the demolition of the house in which he resided, is a stone gate post, which still bears the name of "Hawthorne House".
10. After complaining for some time of a pain in his stomach, Nathaniel Hawthorne decided to take a "recuperative trip" beginning in early May of 1864. He died in his sleep on the 19th of that month at the age of 59 at a hotel in Plymouth, New Hampshire. The man with whom he was traveling telegrammed Hawthorne's sister-in-law to tell her of his death. With whom was Hawthorne traveling when he died?

Answer: President Franklin Pierce

From the time the Hawthornes returned from Europe to their Concord, Massachusetts, home in 1860, Nathaniel Hawthorne's health began to wane, and he was frequently depressed. He attempted to write two different novels but put them aside as he was unable to complete them. He left a third unfinished novel at the time of his death.

Hawthorne remained loyal to his lifelong friend Franklin Pierce despite the President's lack of popularity among most of those living in the Northern United States. Although Pierce was a New Hampshire native and detested slavery as well, he had frequently shown sympathy toward the Southern states. The public knew, of course, that Hawthorne had helped Pierce get elected and had worked in Pierce's administration. In 1863, when Hawthorne dedicated his new book "Our Old Home" to Pierce, the public began to turn on Hawthorne as well. Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin", was appalled that Hawthorne had dedicated any book to "that arch-traitor Pierce", and many of Hawthorne's colleagues tore out the dedication page from their copies of the book.

Hawthorne is buried in the "Authors' Ridge" of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord. During his funeral, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Bronson Alcott, James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Thomas Fields were all pallbearers.
Source: Author alaspooryoric

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