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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Julian Hawthorne (1846–1934)
Critical and Biographical Introduction
 
MR. HAWTHORNE is to be added to the group of men who enter into active literary life with the handicap of being the sons of authors of such high distinction that only a brave struggle insures individuality. The only son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, he was born in Boston in 1846, the same year that gave to the American reading public ‘Mosses from an Old Manse.’ His early boyhood was passed in Liverpool during his father’s consulate, but on the return of the family to America after 1860, Julian became a pupil in the famous school of Frank Sanborn in Concord. He entered Harvard in 1863, where he was, on the whole, more distinguished for athletics than for application to study. He took a course in civil engineering both at Harvard and in Dresden, and even practiced that congenial outdoor occupation and practical hydrographies for some years, until literature as a profession engrossed him.  1
  His first successful story was ‘Bressant’ (1872), the forerunner of a long list of novels, of which may be particularized three: ‘Garth’ (1875), ‘Sebastian Strome,’ and ‘Archibald Malmaison’ (1884). Mr. Hawthorne made his home in London for about seven years, actively engaged in literary work in connection with the English and the American press. He returned to the United States in 1882, but presently went across the ocean again with an idea of remaining in England indefinitely; and of late years his homes have been London, Long Island, and the island of Jamaica,—in which last convenient West-Indian retreat he resided for several seasons prior to 1896. His novel ‘A Fool of Nature,’ which won him in 1896 a prize of $10,000 in a literary competition arranged by the New York Herald (the contest enlisting eleven hundred other competitors), was written in that West-Indian hermitage.  2
  Mr. Hawthorne’s best work suggests more than one element that distinguishes his father’s stories. There is the psychologic accent, the touch of mystery, the avoidance of the stock properties of romance. He is an expert literary craftsman. One cannot but feel that with a firmer grip on his own fancy, and with an early discipline in style and in methods of treatment, his fictions would be of a finer individuality. But they hold the interest, and they show an aim at reaching beyond the scope of the ordinary novel of human character. ‘Garth’ and ‘Archibald Malmaison’ have been cited as perhaps his two most successful novels. Into ‘Garth’ is woven the history of a New England home and family line, with a kind of curse upon them inherited from the shadowy past of Indian days; and the career of a curiously fascinating young hero, a survival or reincarnation of “primeval man,” who declares that he feels “as though the earth were my body and I saw through it and lived through it, just as I do my human body;… and then I was as strong as the whole world and as happy as heaven.” In ‘Archibald Malmaison’ we have a brief, gloomy drama, turning on a central character whose mental personality every few years inevitably and shockingly “reverts.” At seven years the little boy goes back to his boyhood of two or three, forgetting everything that has been in his mind and life since that term; in his early teens he lapses to nearly his development at mere babyhood, with the intervening time a blank. At last, a man grown, this weird fatality, combined with his knowledge of a hidden room (known only to himself) in his home, and a mad love affair, bring about a terrible misadventure, closing the story.  3
 
 
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