Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Publisher: Oxford World's Classics

Foreword: Michael Davitt Bell

Date of Publication: 2009

Place of Publication: Oxford, UK

Pages: 368

Dimensions: 128x195 mm

Language: English

ISBN: 978-0-19-953912-3


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SKU: B/HSGP01 Category:


Although direct references to Swedenborg in Hawthorne’s work are rare, there is no doubt that he was heavily exposed to Swedenborgian ideas throughout his life—at Brook Farm; from Emerson and Thoreau; during his stay in Europe. One can certainly detect this influence in The House of the Seven Gables, a self-proclaimed Romance that abounds with magic, spirits and mystics. As well as these broadly occult undercurrents however, Devin Zuber is right to point out more specific Swedenborgian resonances: Uncle Venner remarks that ‘Angels do not toil, but let their good works grow out of them’ (p.82); later on, the narrator is moved to refer to moonbeams as ‘a kind of window or doorway into the spiritual world’ (p.281).

Reference: Devin P Zuber, ‘Spiritualized science and the celestial artist: Nathaniel Hawthorne and Swedenborgian aesthetics’, in Philosophy, Literature, Mysticism.


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