Egotism: Or, The Bosom Serpent
6 Installments—Entirely free
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was a pivotal figure in American literature, part of the innovative and imaginative group of writers and thinkers who brought about the "American Renaissance" of the nineteenth century. Born in New Hampshire, Hawthorne was raised by his mother and other relatives after his father died while overseas. Hawthorne was sent to college, but preferred his family home. Once he returned there after graduation, he retreated to his own quarters and dabbled in writing, although he did not publish any of these early pieces. After marrying, Hawthorne brought his family to Massachusetts, where he held a steady job at the Salem Custom House to make ends meet. In later years Hawthorne again took up writing and published his masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, in 1850. The novel was well-received, and Hawthorne's legend as a master of fiction had been established. He went on to write such classics as The House of the Seven Gables and The Marble Faun, continuing to earn the favor of the American and international reading public. To this day, Hawthorne's works are beloved for their unique and haunting nature, exploring both dark and lighter aspects of American history, psychology, and landscape.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
[From the Unpublished "Allegories of the Heart."]
 The physical fact, to which it is here attempted to give a moral signification, has been known to occur in more than one instance.
"Here he comes!" shouted the boys along the street. "Here comes the man with a snake in his bosom!"
This outcry, ...