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Lived: 1804-1864

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American Romanticist author born in Salem, Massachusetts. While working at the Salem Customs office (a position he would hold much of his life), Hawthorne wrote numerous short stories, later collecting them into a single book, "Twice-Told Tales." History would remember Hawthorne, though, for his striking tale of romance in Puritan America, "The Scarlet Letter," published in 1850. A deeply allegorical look at guilt and moral evil, "The Scarlet Letter" would turn its author from a simple customs surveyor into one of the most famous men in American literature and the bane of schoolchildren for centuries to come.