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A Study Of Hawthorne

by George Parsons Lathrop

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This book was not designed as a biography, but is rather a portrait. And, to speak more carefully still, it is not so much this, as my conception of what a portrait of Hawthorne should be. For I cannot write with the authority of one who had known him and had been formally intrusted with the task of describing his life.

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The explanation of this lies in the wretchedly dependent state of native authorship at that time. The law of copyright had not then attained to even the refined injustice which it has now reached. "I continue," he wrote, in 1844, "to scribble tales with good success so far as regards empty praise, some notes of which, pleasant enough to my ears, have come from across the Atlantic. But the pamphlet and piratical system has so broken up all regular literature, that I am forced to work hard for small gains."



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