Page:Nathaniel Hawthorne (Woodbury).djvu/41

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31
THE CHAMBER UNDER THE EAVES

two of them as "Alice Doane" and "Susan Grey," and adds that he told her, while the volume was still in the stage of being offered to publishers, that he would first "write a story which would make a smaller book, and get it published immediately if possible, before the arrangements for bringing out the 'Tales' were completed." This was presumably "Fanshawe," which may also have been the novel she recollected his writing to her about while at college.

"Fanshawe" [1] was published in 1828 by Marsh and Capen, at Boston, without the author's name but at his expense, one hundred dollars being the sum paid; it failed, and Hawthorne looked on it with so much subsequent displeasure that he called in all the copies he could find and destroyed them, and thus nearly succeeded in sinking the book in oblivion, but the few copies which survived secured its republication after his death. The novel is brief, with a melodramatic plot, well-marked scenes, and strongly contrasted character; the style flows on pleasantly; but the book is without distinction. Like many a just graduated collegian, Hawthorne had recourse to his academic experience in lieu of anything else, and in the setting of the story and some of its delineation of character Longfellow recognized the strong suggestion of Bowdoin days; in the same way the hero, Fanshawe, borrowed something from Hawthorne's own temperament.

  1. Fanshawe. A Tale. Boston: Marsh & Capen, 362 Washington St. Press of Putnam and Hunt, 1828. 12mo. Pp. 141.