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Nathaniel Hawthorne


from The Scarlet Letter

  1. Black and white, photos and some early drawings by Felix Octavious Darley
  2. Color, by Hugh Thomson

Black and white, Dodd, Mead

[From The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1948 (no copyright notice), in Great Illustrated Classics series. "With illustrations reproducing drawings for early editions and photographs of comtemporary scenes together with an introductory biographical sketch of the author and anecdotal captions by Basil Davenport." (Online editor's note: this is the conventional Hawthorne history, but some is more legend than fact.) See also the illustrated volume by Davenport, The House of the Seven Gables.]

Note that the following black and white illustrations will display in this window, but without any further TEXT DESCRIPTION.

  1. Nathaniel Hawthorne. . . . Frontispiece [23KB]
  2. The Market Place (by Felix Octavius Darley). . . . page 52 [46KB]

    This and the other line drawings in this volume are the work of Felix Octavius Darley, one of the foremost American illustrators of the nineteenth century. Darley has his own society and now his own website thanks to Carol Digel.

  3. The Old Manse. . . . page 125 [18KB]

    For three years after his marriage Hawthorne lived at the Old Manse, or parsonage, in Concord, where he wrote the volume of short stories called Mosses from an Old Manse.

  4. The leech and his patient . . . . page 140 [29KB]
  5. The Old Custom House, Salem . . . . page 149 [46KB]

    Hawthorne was employed as Surveyor of the Custom House, until the election to the presidency of Zachary Taylor, a Whig, meant that the Democrats like Hawthorne were thrown out of their jobs. His wife came forward with some money that no one knew she had saved, "amounting to--well, hundreds of dollars," says Hawthorne's son Julian, and said, "Now you can write the Great Romance!" And Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter.

  6. The Hawthorne House in Salem. . . . page 180 [31KB]

    Hawthorne lived here while writing The Scarlet Letter. When its success had made him independent, he moved to Lenox, Massachusetts, and lived in a little cottage called the Red Shanty, with a forest behind it which he called Tanglewood. He used this setting in the framework for his retelling of Greek myths, A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales. The Tappan family, to whom the land belonged, adopted his name of Tanglewood for the whole of it. The estate was later given to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Berkshire Music Festival is held there every summer.

  7. The pastor and his parishioners. . . . page 189 [37KB]
  8. Hester Prynne . . . . page 213 [20KB]

    From a drawing by Sigismond de Ivanowski.

  9. Hester and Pearl . . . . page 244 [27KB]
  10. The revelation of the scarlet letter . . . . page 253 [40KB]
  11. Grave of Hester Prynne. . . . page 268 [46KB]

    This grave in King's Chapel graveyard, Boston, is that of Elizabeth Pain, who, in 1683, was sentenced to be whipped for the murder of her child. The authorities have put up a sign identifying it as that of Hester Prynne. [no longer there] The stories of the two women are not much alike, and, except for the slight similarity of names, there is no reason to identify them. But the mere fact that such a grave is shown, like the spurious tomb of Romeo and Juliet at Verona, or the spurious cell of Edmond Dantes in the Chateau d'If, is a testimony to the vitality of Hawthorne's tale and its hold on the imagination. [The (Omni) Parker House, formerly Parker's Hotel, is in the background.]

  12. Sophia Peabody Hawthorne in 1855. . . .[from House of Seven Gables] [32KB]

    A photograph of Hawthorne's wife. When he lost his job at the Custom House, he said of her, "She will bear it like a woman--that is, better than a man"; and she produced enough money which she had secretly saved for Hawthorne to live on while he wrote The Scarlet Letter, which assured his fame.

Color illustrations to The Scarlet Letter, by Hugh Thomson

From The Scarlet Letter illustrated by Hugh Thomson, an edition by George H. Doran, Company, New York, printed by Morrison and Gibb Limited, Edinburgh, no date or copyright notice. (From the signatures the date appears to be 1915; Thomson died in 1920.)

Information from Dr. Chris Browne at Monash University, Australia, 2000-06-10: "Just some more info on the illustrations by Hugh Thomson for The Scarlet Letter. They were drawn in 1915, starting in June or July. They were not printed and published in the UK until 1920 when the Morrison and Gibb printings were published by Methuen. I do not know when the Doran edition came out, but I would expect it would be 1920 or just after. The only other contemporary American publishers of Thomson were Ginn and Co., New York (Tom Brown's Schooldays, 1918) and the New York branch of Macmillans (various from 1906). The best source of information on Hugh Thomson is the book 'Hugh Thomson his art his letters and his charm' by M H Spielmann and Walter Jerrold, published in 1931 by A & C Black London. This was one year after Thomson's death."

The color illustrations are tipped in, approximately the size of this screen rendering. Note that the JPEG files here are at 150 dpi, they have been electronically enhanced to add saturation to the faded colors of the print edition, at 75% compression they lose a little content, and the images have been artificially blurred so as to make the dots of the printing process fuse in the screen image.

The Rare Book Collection of Mt. Holyoke College has an archive of Hugh Thomson's works. Some other of his illustrations are online at other sites, from books by Jane Austen and others. Quite a few rare book stores online sell his beautiful volumes--they are well worth the money in an age when it has become too expensive to produce new books like these. Use our /Search/ page in another window.

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For those of you who have a need (we are not sure that pure greed is sufficient--remember that others are trying to use our limited bandwidth too) to copy and save all these illustrations to your own disks, you may download them in one compressed file, [CAUTION: 1.2MB].

  1. Frontispiece, "The young woman stood fully revealed." [43KB]
  2. Hawthorne in the Custom House [38KB]
  3. Surveyor Pue and Hawthorne [39KB]
  4. "Goodwives," said a hard-featured dame, "I'll tell ye a piece of my mind" [41KB]
  5. A crowd of eager and curious schoolboys [46KB]
  6. Illuminating. . . the dusky mirror [42KB]
  7. Hester seated herself on the bed [31KB]
  8. There dwelt, there trode, the feet of one [29KB]
  9. Children would creep nigh enough to behold her [31KB]
  10. Hester at her needle [33KB]
  11. A young maiden glancing at the scarlet letter [38KB]
  12. She saw the children disporting themselves [34KB]
  13. Governor Bellingham appeared to be showing off his estate [39KB]
  14. Usually a vast favorite with children [43KB]
  15. Into the sunny day was thrust the face of Mistress Hibbins [47KB]
  16. Mr. Dimmesdale's flock [34KB]
  17. A pious widow, of good social rank [40KB]
  18. One day, leaning his forehead on his hand [35KB]
  19. To such an unwonted remoteness [30KB]
  20. Good Father Wilson was moving homeward [27KB]
  21. A blazing spear. . . in the midnight sky [25KB]
  22. None so self-devoted as Hester [29KB]
  23. "It is our Hester" [30KB]
  24. She beheld the old physician in quest of roots and herbs [40KB]
  25. The old dame in the chimney corner [32KB]
  26. "What does this sad little brook say, mother?" [35KB]
  27. She beheld the minister advancing [30KB]
  28. "So, reverend Sir, you have made a visit into the forest," observed the witch-lady [36KB]
  29. They were rough-looking desperadoes [41KB]
  30. With purpose to snatch a kiss [35KB]
  31. Hester at the foot of the scaffold [38KB]

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Last updated: 2000-06-13T02:32:17Z
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