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Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Twice-Told Tales (1837)

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Hawthorne wrote this collection of short stories anonymously in the 1830's, first published in local papers. At the urging of a friend he signed his name and raised the money to publish it as a book in two collected volumes, a copy of which was sent to former classmate and famous writer Henry Longfellow at Harvard. Longfellow gave it a favorable review and thus launched Hawthorne out of obscurity and on the path to well known works such as The House of Seven Gables and his masterpiece The Scarlet Letter.

Overall the collection is a mixed bag, some are clearly dated while others have timeless appeal. There are a lot of stories and only a handful will I remember and/or want to re-read in the future so it was a bit of a chore to read through them all. Hawthorne was honing his style so some of the pieces are dead ends, while others echo some of his later better works.

My favorite stories include "The Minister's Black Veil" about a 17th century New England puritan minister who vows never to look at the world except with a black veil over his eyes - the reason why is the mystery of the story and revealed to us at the end. "Wakefield" has a similar theme of mysterious behavior, a man decides to walk away from home without saying he was leaving and then return 10 years later - it is based on a true story and in fact there are modern accounts of similar things happening. "The Gentle Boy" beautifully captures 17th century religious fanaticism, intolerance and historical forces concerning the conflict between Puritans and Quakers in New England. This story is probably his most mature and serious of the book. "Mr. Higginbothem's Catastrophe", about a rumor of a man's murder, is a riddle wrapped in a story, I was perplexed and enthralled to the end. "David Swann", about a young man who falls asleep by the side of the road, is a philosophical story about the nature of fortune and fate. "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", about a liquid that makes the old young again, presages Robert Louis Stevenson and more recent movies like "Cocoon".

--Review by Stephen Balbach, via CoolReading (c) 2008 cc-by-nd ( )
1 vote Stbalbach | Jun 11, 2008 |
Collection of stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  brose72 | Mar 3, 2007 |
I liked this very much. I'm ging to quote a reviewer, William Wadsworth Longfellow, because he captured my ideas and feelings about this book perfectly.
"Prose Written by a Poet, In the stream of thought, which flows so deep and clear through the pages of this book, we see the bright reflection of a spiritual star...It comes from the hand of a man of genius...The book, though in prose, is written never-the-less by a poet...A calm, thoughtful face seems to be looking at you from every page, with now a pleasant smile, and now a shade of sadness..."
My personal favorite of all the stories is "The Minister's Black Veil." ( )
  MrsLee | Nov 10, 2006 |
Some stories seem stilted and contrived by today's standards, others endure timelessly. ( )
  Poemblaze | Aug 14, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0895773325, Hardcover)

Twice-Told Tales is a short story collection in two volumes by Nathaniel Hawthorne first published in the spring of 1837. The stories had all been previously published in magazines and annuals, hence the name. -- Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Contents: The Gray Champion Sunday At Home The Wedding Knell The Minister's Black Veil The Maypole Of Merry Mount The Gentle Boy Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe Little Annie's Ramble Wakefield A Rill From The Town-pump The Great CarbuncleThe Prophetic PicturesDavid SwanSights From A Steeple The Hollow Of The Three Hills The Toll-Gatherer's DayThe Vision of The Fountain Fancy's Show-boxDr. Heidegger's Experiment Legends of The Province House:I Howe's Masquerade II Edward Randolph's Portrait III Lady Eleanore's Mantle IV Old Esther Dudley The Haunted Mind The Village UncleThe Ambitious Guest The Sister-Years Snowflakes The Seven Vagabonds The White Old Maid Peter Goldthwaite's Treasure Chippings With A Chisel The Shaker Bridal Night-SketchesEndicott And The Red Cross The Lily's QuestFootprints On The Seashore Edward Fane's Rosebud The Threefold Destiny More e-Books from MobileReference - Best Books. Best Price. Best Search and Navigation (TM) All fiction books are only $0.99. All collections are only $5.99Designed for optimal navigation on Kindle and other electronic devices Search for any title: enter mobi (shortened MobileReference) and a keyword; for example: mobi ShakespeareTo view all books, click on the MobileReference link next to a book title Literary Classics: Over 10,000 complete works by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, Dickens, Tolstoy, and other authors. All books feature hyperlinked table of contents, footnotes, and author biography. Books are also available as collections, organized by an author. Collections simplify book access through categorical, alphabetical, and chronological indexes. They offer lower price, convenience of one-time download, and reduce clutter of titles in your digital library. Religion: The Illustrated King James Bible, American Standard Bible, World English Bible (Modern Translation), Mormon Church's Sacred Texts Philosophy: Rousseau, Spinoza, Plato, Aristotle, Marx, Engels Travel Guides and Phrasebooks for All Major Cities: New York, Paris, London, Rome, Venice, Prague, Beijing, Greece Medical Study Guides: Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology, Abbreviations and Terminology, Human Nervous System, Biochemistry College Study Guides: FREE Weight and Measures, Physics, Math, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Statistics, Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, Mythology History: Art History, American Presidents, U.S. History, Encyclopedias of Roman Empire, Ancient Egypt Health: Acupressure Guide, First Aid Guide, Art of Love, Cookbook, Cocktails, Astrology Reference: The World's Biggest Mobile Encyclopedia; CIA World Factbook, Illustrated Encyclopedias of Birds, Mammals

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:14 -0400)

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Collects brief fictional works and legends by the nineteenth-century New England literary master.

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