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Mosses from an Old Manse and other stories

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Book Overview: 

"Mosses from an Old Manse" is a short story collection by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The collection includes several previously-published short stories and is named in honor of The Old Manse where Hawthorne and his wife lived for the first three years of their marriage.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .nage, apparently of genial nature, and habits that might almost be called jovial. He kept the young man to dinner, and made himself very agreeable by the freedom and liveliness of his conversation, especially when warmed by a flask or two of Tuscan wine. Giovanni, conceiving that men of science, inhabitants of the same city, must needs be on familiar terms with one another, took an opportunity to mention the name of Dr. Rappaccini. But the professor did not respond with so much cordiality as he had anticipated.

"Ill would it become a teacher of the divine art of medicine," said Professor Pietro Baglioni, in answer to a question of Giovanni, "to withhold due and well-considered praise of a physician so eminently skilled as Rappaccini; but, on the other hand, I should answer it but scantily to my conscience were I to permit a worthy youth like yourself, Signor Giovanni, the son of an ancient friend, to imbibe erroneous ideas respecting a man who might hereafter. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Also for my SF/F class, also stultifyingly boring. There's something a bit more alive about Hawthorne's prose than Poe's, I think, but once you've read a couple of stories, they all seem to sound the same. I got to the point where I was skimming in self-defence.

An early collection of tales. Some of the subtle, almost subliminal problems Hawthorne has with female sexuality (for instance, as metaphorically developed in Rappaccini's Daughter and The Birthmark) are interesting for the light they throw on Hawthorne's attitude toward women, and The Artist of...more

I believe Hawthorne’s collection Mosses from an Old Manse (1846) may be superior to his earlier Twice Told Tales (1837, 1842). It boasts just as many Hawthorne short story masterpieces (“The Birth-mark,” “Young Goodman Brown,” “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” and The Artist of the Beautiful”) and nearly...more

Adam Raised A Cain

The middle-of-the-road rating is reflective more of a sense of incompleteness that I get when I read Hawthorne's short stories: it seems to me he's only getting started in a really good tale and then wraps it up quickly, as if he wants to jam in everything he has to say in a pro...more

Too allegoric...more

Absolutely beautiful writing. Hawthorne's prose is untouchable. It's a joy to read even when the stories lag. Although that seldom happens. "Rappacini's Daughter" and "Feathertop" were my favorites, tragic tales of sci-fi and fantasy.

Though Hawthorne is one of my favorite writers, and this is the first of his books that I ever read, I've never gotten around to reviewing it here until now --an inexcusable lapse that I'm finally rectifying! I've read all of it at least once, and the 1967 date is only approximate; this was a fav...more

Esta recopilación es muy floja. Y más si buscas lo que te indica la tapa: relatos fantásticos y siniestros. Yo pondría: relatos descriptivos y filosóficos.

La vieja rectoría (3/5): No es un relato, él nos describe su residencia. Yo me lo planteo como el sitio en el que escribe por las noches est...more

The first edition was published in 1846 with 23 stories, and later expanded to 26 stories in 1854. This edition reprints 11 of them. Most of the stories are allegorical and depict some of the darker aspects of human nature. The stories don’t hold up particularly well for modern readers, being som...more

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