Mosses from an Old Manse

Mosses From An Old Manse

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Mosses from an Old Manse

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Mosses from an Old Manse was a short story collection by Nathaniel Hawthorne, first published in 1846.

Background and publication history

The collection included several previously-published short stories and was named in honor of The Old Manse where Hawthorne and his wife lived for the first three years of their marriage. The first edition was published in 1846.

Hawthorne seems to have been paid $75 for the publication.Widmer, Edward L. Young America: Flowering of Democracy in New York City. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999: 109. ISBN 0-19-514062-1


Many of the tales collected in Mosses from an Old Manse are allegories and, typical of Hawthorne, focus on the negative side of human nature. Hawthorne's friend Herman Melville noted this aspect in his review "Hawthorne and His Mosses":

William Henry Channing reviewed the collection in The Harbinger and noted that its author "had been baptized in the deep waters of Tragedy" and his work was dark with only brief moments of "serene brightness" which was never brighter than "dusky twilight".Delano, Sterling F. Brook Farm: The Dark Side of Utopia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004: 233–234. ISBN 0-674-01160-0

Critical reception

After its first publication, Hawthorne sent copies to critics including Margaret Fuller, Edgar Allan Poe, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, and Henry......
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