Our Old Home

Our Old Home

Our Old Home

Libro electrónico

In the summer of 1860 Hawthorne returned to America and prepared for the Atlantic Monthly some sketches of England, which appeared in that magazine in 1862 and 1863, and with others were published in book form in 1863, under the title "Our Old Home."

The opening article, "Consular Experiences," gives some curious incidents in his office at Liverpool, and describes queer Americans who came for the consular help. The closing one, "Civic Banquets," affords a glimpse at some of the public social intercourse to which his position introduced him. "Lichfield and Uttoxeter " is devoted largely to Dr. Johnson. Long before, Hawthorne had written for children the story of Johnson's penance in Uttoxeter market. The offense taken by the Uttoxeter people at an article published in Harper's Magazine is mentioned in the "English Note-Books," vol. ii., August 2,1857.

"Recollections of a Gifted Woman" gives some notes on Stratford, together with reminiscences of Delia Bacon. In "Yesterdays with Authors" Mr. Fields says: " One of the most difficult matters he had to manage while in England was the publication of Miss Bacon's singular book on Shakespeare. The poor lady, after he had agreed to see the work through the press, broke off all correspondence with him in a storm of wrath, accusing him of pusillanimity in not avowing full faith in her theory; so that, as he told me, so far as her good-will was concerned, he had not gained much by taking the responsibility of her book upon his shoulders. It was a heavy weight for him to bear, in more senses than one, for he paid out of his own pocket the expenses of publication."

The other articles of the book describe Warwick, Oxford, Leamington, Boston, Lincoln, some parts of London, and the haunts of Burns.


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