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Hawthorne at Salem

Hawthorne - Literature

The Blithedale Romance

Introduction to Zenobia and Priscilla in The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Materials prepared by:

Terri Whitney, Department of English
North Shore Community College; Danvers, Massachusetts

 

Zenobia, illustration from the<I> Essex Institute Historical Collection</I> volume entitled "From Cover to Cover: The Presentation of Hawthorne
Zenobia, illustration from the Essex Institute Historical Collection volume entitled "From Cover to Cover: The Presentation of Hawthorne's Major Romances" (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
 

Hawthorne’s third major novel, The Blithedale Romance, published in 1852, was inspired by his participation in Brook Farm, a utopian community outside Boston. In the preface to BR, however, Hawthorne refutes any direct connection between his life at Brook Farm and the events of the novel. Also, he asserts that his novel was not meant to stake out a position on socialism. Still, scholars have observed connections between the people in Hawthorne’s life and his fictional characters in BR as well as the reflection of reform movements of the time.

One aspect of social change of the 1830s and 1840s that the novel explores is the changing role of women and especially the women’s rights movement. That movement was connected to the temperance movement, which Hawthorne also refers to in the novel, as women played a prominent role in calling for laws against drinking. These activities were not viewed as radical, however, as their efforts on behalf of families and children were deemed appropriate for their roles as homemakers.

An important leader of the women’s rights movement was Margaret Fuller whom many, though by no means all, scholars believe was Hawthorne’s inspiration for the character of Zenobia, the woman with a mysterious past who is a passionate and radical reformer and voice for women’s rights in the novel. Anti-slavery was another major reform movement of the time, and Fuller argues that the plight of African-Americans highlighted the inequalities of women as well. She examines the way in which a woman can assert herself in a relationship with a man but also depend on him, as indeed he can on her, in her book, Women in the Nineteenth Century. In addition to Fuller’s role in the women’s rights movement, another reason for linking her with Zenobia may be that Fuller was a frequent visitor to Brook Farm when Hawthorne was in residence there. Scholars also point out that, like Zenobia, Fuller also wore exotic flowers in her hair, and, like Zenobia, Fuller died from drowning (though from a shipwreck, not a suicide).

Another source cited as a possible inspiration for the scene of Zenobia’s drowning in the novel is the story of Martha Hunt, a young woman who drowned in the Concord River in the summer of 1845 when Hawthorne and Sophia were living at the Old Manse. Hawthorne was called to help search for the girl, and his notebook descriptions of that event and the newspaper accounts of the time bear some resemblance to Hawthorne’s depiction of the search and discovery of Zenobia’s body. Zenobia’s fate, some scholars argue, may be an expression of Hawthorne’s distaste for Fuller, a woman for whom he seems to have had ambivalent feelings, attracted to her intellect but recoiling at her intensity.

Although most scholars do not cite any one source for Zenobia, they do seem to agree that she is a complicated character, astute and compelling. In her essay “A Radical Reading,” Nina Baym explains that Zenobia “is a depiction of the eternal feminine as earthy, maternal, domestic, natural, sensual, brilliant, loving, and demanding, and is described mainly in images of softness, radiance, warmth, and health, none of which are even slightly ambivalent or ambiguous in their emotional import” (354). At the same time, Baym notes that Zenobia is also a feminist who places an exotic flower in her hair each day. Baym believes that Zenobia is only a “female pamphleteer…[because] it is the best she can do in a society that offers woman no worthy roles at all” (355). As for the flower, Baym argues that its purpose is to announce “that Zenobia’s nature is passionate as well as pastoral” and that “[o]ne may hazard that what Hawthorne is trying to do here is precisely to reinstate sexuality as a legitimate and natural element of femininity…” (355).

Interestingly, Hawthorne mentions Margaret Fuller in the novel, not in connection with Zenobia, but with Priscilla, the seamstress and also the Veiled Lady. Coverdale, the narrator of the novel, asks her if she ever saw Fuller and says, “’you reminded me of her, just now’” (48) and goes on to tell her that he has just received a letter from her. Priscilla, however, is very different from Fuller and from Zenobia. She is beautiful, like Zenobia, but whereas Zenobia is rich, assertive, and strong, Priscilla is poor, submissive, and delicate. Priscilla, who sews purses, may also have been inspired by a real person, though perhaps only to the extent of her appearance. A young girl from Boston who was a seamstress and visited Brook Farm made a distinct impression on him, and he describes her in a journal entry on October 9, 1841. He writes:

For a week past, we have been especially gladdened with a little sempstress from Boston, about seventeen years old, but of such a petite figure that, at first view one would take her to be hardly in her teens. She is very vivacious and smart, laughing, singing, and talking, all the time—talking sensibly, but still taking the view of matters that a city girl naturally would. If she were larger than she is, and of less pleasing aspect, I think she might be intolerable; but being so small, and with a white skin, healthy as a wild flower, she is really very agreeable; and to look at her face is like being shone upon by a ray of the sun. She never walks, but bounds and dances along; and this motion, in her small person, does not give the idea of violence. It is like a bird, hopping form twig to twig, and chirping merrily all the time. (“Hawthorne’s Use” 246)

It is this reference which some scholars point to as evidence that this young woman was the model for Priscilla. [Scholars have observed that Old Moodie was similarly inspired by a casual encounter. Margaret Moore says, that “the inspiration for Old Moodie's portrayal, most scholars believe, came from Hawthorne's sighting in 1850 of an ‘elderly ragamuffin’ near Parker's Grog Shop in Boston who had a ‘more than shabby general aspect’ and a ‘patch over one eye,’" whom Hawthorne describes in his notebook.]

While few would suggest exact analogues between real life and fictional characters in BR, Hawthorne’s notebooks and letters do provide reason to detect some influence of real life characters in his fictional ones, and, as Robert S. Levine points out, the “pointed denials” of links to real people and settings in Hawthorne’s prefaces both to The House of the Seven Gables and to BR “can be taken as arch signalings of sources and settings” (xi). At the same time, one can also make the case for multiple such influences as well as, of course, for the predominance of his own imaginative development of the character.

 

Works Cited
  • Baym, Nina. “A Radical Reading.” The Blithedale Romance. Eds. Seymour Gross and Rosalie Murphy. NY: W.W. Norton, 1978. 351-368. Print.
  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Blithedale Romance. Eds. Seymour Gross and Rosalie Murphy. NY: W.W. Norton, 1978.
  • ---. The Blithedale Romance. Introduction by Robert S. Levine. Cambridge: Belknap of Harvard UP, 2010.
  • ----. “Hawthorne’s Use of The American Notebooks in The Blithedale Romance.” The Blithedale Romance. Eds. Seymour Gross and Rosalie Murphy. NY: W.W. Norton, 1978. 245-246. Print.
  • Moore, Margaret. "The Mystery of Old Moodie," paper delivered at Nathaniel Hawthorne Society Summer Meeting, Northampton, Massachusetts, June 21-23, 2002.

Original Documents Related to The Blithedale Romance

Spine of 1852 copy of <i>The Blithedale Romance</I> published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
Spine of 1852 copy of The Blithedale Romance published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
 (photography by Terri Whitney)
Front cover of <i>The Blithedale Romance</i>, 1852 edition published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
Front cover of The Blithedale Romance, 1852 edition published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
 (photography by Terri Whitney)
Title page of <i>The Blithedale Romance</i>, 1852 edition published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
Title page of The Blithedale Romance, 1852 edition published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
 (photography by Terri Whitney)
Masthead of <i>Concord Freeman</i> newspaper, July 11, 1845
Masthead of Concord Freeman newspaper, July 11, 1845
This issue of the Concord Freeman contains the announcement of the suicide drowning of Martha Hunt (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Announcement of suicide drowning of Martha Hunt from <i>Concord Freeman</i>, July 11, 1845
Announcement of suicide drowning of Martha Hunt from Concord Freeman, July 11, 1845
 (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Cover of <I>The Dial</I> July, 1843
Cover of The Dial July, 1843
 (courtesy of Fruitlands Museum)
First page of \"The Great Lawsuit, Man vs. Men/Woman vs. Women,\" by Margaret Fuller, July 1843 in <I>The Dial</I>
First page of "The Great Lawsuit, Man vs. Men/Woman vs. Women," by Margaret Fuller, July 1843 in The Dial
 (courtesy of Fruitlands Museum)
Masthead of <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845 which contains the obituary of Martha Hunt
Masthead of The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845 which contains the obituary of Martha Hunt 
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (1) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (1) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845 
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (2) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (2) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (3) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (3) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (4) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (4) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (5) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (5) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (6) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (6) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (7) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (7) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (8) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (8) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (9) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (9) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (10) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (10) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (11) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (11) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
Obituary (12) for Martha Hunt from <i>The Concord Freeman</i>vol. XI from August 1, 1845
Obituary (12) for Martha Hunt from The Concord Freemanvol. XI from August 1, 1845
Hawthorne was living at the Old Manse when he was called to help look for Martha Hunt, a woman who drowned in the Concord River. This event likely inspired the drowning scene in The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Concord Free Public Library)
space holder Letter from John Kay, Jr. to Marianne Dwight, Sept. 27, 1846 Middlebury College Digital Archive
 (courtesy of Middlebury College Digital Archive)
space holder Letters from John Orvis to Marianne Dwight Orvis, Sept. 1847 Middlebury College Digital Archive
 (courtesy of Middlebury College Digital Archive)

Images Related to The Blithedale Romance and Brook Farm

  • Brook Farm
  • Margaret Fuller
  • Characters in Blithedale Romance
  • Early Edition Illustrations
  • Other
Brook Farm
Brook Farm, painting by Josiah Wolcott, 1844
Brook Farm, painting by Josiah Wolcott, 1844 
The Pilgrim House is on the left; the Cottage (or "Margaret Fuller Cottage") is second building from left on hill; the Aerie is on the highest hill and is where Ripley and other lived. The Farmhouse was the two -and -a- half story white clapboard building with an ell at the rear of the house that housed the kitchen. Also called "the Hive," this was where Hawthorne lived when he was at Brook Farm. A large barn to the left of the farm stood next to a brook and housed horses and cattle. According to Sterling F. Delano, the entrance was not where Wolcott has placed it but rather at the break in the low stone wall. On October 11, 1841 George Ripley purchased the Ellis Farm which included a farmhouse with barn and outbuildings. This farmhouse, which was already serving as the Brook Farm school, began to be called "The Nest" by the Brook Farmers. Delano believes that Wolcott painted this scene before the foundation of the Phalanstery was built, not after it burned down, as there is no workshop in the scene. (courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society)
Brook Farm with Rainbow, painting by Josiah Wolcott, 1845
Brook Farm with Rainbow, painting by Josiah Wolcott, 1845
 (courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society)
Foundation of Pilgrim House, dwelling of Marianne Dwight, photo taken at Brook Farm, West Roxbury, MA in July, 2008
Foundation of Pilgrim House, dwelling of Marianne Dwight, photo taken at Brook Farm, West Roxbury, MA in July, 2008
 (photography by Terri Whitney)
Brook Farm, redrawn from a sketch of the period of the community
from \"Brook Farm\" by George Willis Cooke in <I>The New England Magazine</I>, December, 1897
Brook Farm, redrawn from a sketch of the period of the community from "Brook Farm" by George Willis Cooke in The New England Magazine, December, 1897
 (courtesy of Terri Whitney)
Brook Farm, 1846
Brook Farm, 1846
from Brook Farm: Historic and Personal Memoirs by John Thomas Codman, Boston: Arena Publishing, 1894. (courtesy of The Boston Public Library.)
The Buildings at Brook Farm in 1897
from \"Brook Farm\" by George Willis Cooke in <I>The New England Magazine</I>, December, 1897
The Buildings at Brook Farm in 1897 from "Brook Farm" by George Willis Cooke in The New England Magazine, December, 1897
 (courtesy of Terri Whitney)
The Margaret Fuller Cottage and View of the Farm from the Cottage
The Margaret Fuller Cottage and View of the Farm from the Cottage
from "Brook Farm" by George Willis Cooke in The New England Magazine, December, 1897 (courtesy of Terri Whitney)
from \"Brook Farm\" by George Willis Cooke in <I>The New England Magazine</I>, December, 1897
from "Brook Farm" by George Willis Cooke in The New England Magazine, December, 1897
The Hive aka "The Nest" (photography by Terri Whitney)
Drawing of section of Brook Farm from \"Brook Farm\" by George Willis Cooke in <I>The New England Magazine</I>, December, 1897
Drawing of section of Brook Farm from "Brook Farm" by George Willis Cooke in The New England Magazine, December, 1897
from "Brook Farm" by George Willis Cooke in The New England Magazine, December, 1897 (courtesy of Terri Whitney)
The Brook at Brook Farm
from \"Brook Farm\" by George Willis Cooke in <I>The New England Magazine</I>, December, 1897
The Brook at Brook Farm from "Brook Farm" by George Willis Cooke in The New England Magazine, December, 1897
 (courtesy of Terri Whitney)
Brook Farm in 1897
from \"Brook Farm\" by George Willis Cooke in <I>The New England Magazine</I>, December, 1897
Brook Farm in 1897 from "Brook Farm" by George Willis Cooke in The New England Magazine, December, 1897
 (photography by Terri Whitney)
Map of Utopian Societies
Map of Utopian Societies
 (courtesy of Sterling F. Delano)
Map of Utopian Societies (close-up)
Map of Utopian Societies (close-up)
 (courtesy of Sterling F. Delano)

Margaret Fuller

from \"Brook Farm\" by George Willis Cooke in <I>The New England Magazine</I>, December, 1897
from "Brook Farm" by George Willis Cooke in The New England Magazine, December, 1897
 (courtesy of Terri Whitney)
Cenotaph placed in Mt. Auburn Cemetery by the family of Margaret Fuller whose remains were never found after she died in a shipwreck off of Fire Island in July of 1850
Cenotaph placed in Mt. Auburn Cemetery by the family of Margaret Fuller whose remains were never found after she died in a shipwreck off of Fire Island in July of 1850
from A Journey Into the Transcendentalists' New England by Robert Todd Felton  (courtesy of Robert Todd Felton)

 

Characters in Blithedale Romance

Zenobia, illustration from the<I> Essex Institute Historical Collection</I> volume entitled \"From Cover to Cover: The Presentation of Hawthorne's Major Romances\"
Zenobia, illustration from the Essex Institute Historical Collectionvolume entitled "From Cover to Cover: The Presentation of Hawthorne's Major Romances" 
This image accompanies an article by Dr. Melinda Ponder entitled "The Blithedale Romance." The image is reproduced from the frontispiece of an edition of The Blithedale Romance published in Philadelphia by Henry Altemus c. 1900. The caption in the EIHC article reads, "Zenobia portrayed as a fashionable beauty, ca. 1900"(62).  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Tombstone of Wm. & Elinor Hollingworth (-1688)in Charter Street Burying Point, Salem, MA
Tombstone of Wm. & Elinor Hollingworth (-1688)in Charter Street Burying Point, Salem, MA
Tombstone of William and Elinor Hollingworth in The Charter Street Burying Point, Salem, MA. The name of the reformer in The Blithedale Romance, Hollingsworth, was probably suggested by the name of William Hollingworth. (photography by Bruce Hibbard)

 

Early Edition Illustrations

\"Say What You Wish, and Leave Me\" Frontispiece by T.Eyre Macklin
"Say What You Wish, and Leave Me" Frontispiece by T.Eyre Macklin
from scene on p. 252 of Blithedale Romance published in 1852 in London by Walter Scott Limited (courtesy of Nathaniel Hawthorne Collection, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine)
Title page of 1852 edition of <i>Blithedale Romance</i> published in London by Walter Scott Limited
Title page of 1852 edition of Blithedale Romance published in London by Walter Scott Limited
 (courtesy of Nathaniel Hawthorne Collection, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine)
Blithedale Romance
Blithedale Romance
Illustration from Hawthorne's Works, Globe Edition, Houghton, Mifflin, and Co.,1880. (courtesy of Terri Whitney)

Cover of The Blithedale Romance with introduction by Arlin Turner 

Cover of Signet Classic edition of The Blithedale Romance with introduction by Alfred Kazin 

Cover of W.W. Norton edition of The Blithedale Romance edited by Seymour Gross and Rosalie Murphy 

Cover of the Laurel edition of The Blithedale Romance with an introduction by David Levin 

Cover of paperback edition of The Blithedale Romance with introduction by Annette Kolodny 

Cover of Bantam Classic edition of The Blithedale Romance 

Fig. 9. Social chaos as observed by Coverdale.. Illustration by F.H. Townsend. From "The Blithedale Romance" (London: James Nisbet and Co., 1901), frontispiece. 

Fig. 10. A genteel vision of socialism. Illustration by F.H. Townsend. From "The Blithedale Romance" (London: James Nisbet and Co., 1901), opposite p. 36. 

Fig. 11. "He took the lamp and held it up to gain a more perfect view of her." Illustration by Frank T. Merrill. From "The Blithedale Romance" (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1899), opposite p. 214. 
Spine of 1852 copy of <i>The Blithedale Romance</I> published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
Spine of 1852 copy of The Blithedale Romance published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
 (photography by Terri Whitney)
Front cover of <i>The Blithedale Romance</i>, 1852 edition published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
Front cover of The Blithedale Romance, 1852 edition published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
 (photography by Terri Whitney)
Title page of <i>The Blithedale Romance</i>, 1852 edition published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
Title page of The Blithedale Romance, 1852 edition published in Boston by Ticknor, Reed, and Fields
 (photography by Terri Whitney)

 

Other

Concord River from rear of Old Manse, facing Old North Bridge; purple bloom is loosestrife (July, 2008)
Concord River from rear of Old Manse, facing Old North Bridge; purple bloom is loosestrife (July, 2008)
Hawthorne assisted in the search for the body of Martha Hunt in the Concord River. He wrote about the experience in his journal and used the passage almost verbatim in describing the search for Zenobia's body in The Blithedale Romance (photography by Terri Whitney)

 

Critical Commentary Related to The Blithedale Romance

Zenobia, illustration from the<I> Essex Institute Historical Collection</I> volume entitled "From Cover to Cover: The Presentation of Hawthorne
Zenobia, illustration from the Essex Institute Historical Collectionvolume entitled "From Cover to Cover: The Presentation of Hawthorne's Major Romances" (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
 
  • In this excerpt from his lecture on “The Meanings of Hawthorne’s Women,” Richard Millington discusses Nina Baym’s argument in her essay "Thwarted Nature: Nathaniel Hawthorne as Feminist” that Hawthorne creates subversive women, of which Zenobia is one, and argues that it is a misreading to conflate Hawthorne’s own views with those of his male characters.
     
  • In this excerpt from her lecture on “Hawthorne and ‘the sphere of ordinary womanhood’"(BR-CE 3:190), Melinda M. Ponder explains that “[b]y The Blithedale Romance, Hawthorne's view of contemporary lives of women is indeed bleak….”
     
  • In this excerpt from Dearest Beloved: The Hawthornes and the Making of the Middle- Class Family by T. Walter Herbert, he discusses a link between Zenobia and women in other Hawthorne novels. (courtesy of University of California, Berkeley Press
     
  • In this excerpt from Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times by James R. Mellow, he discusses the lack of allegorical scaffolding and Gothic elements in The Blithedale Romance . (courtesy of Johns Hopkins University Press
     
  • In this excerpt from The Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne by Melissa McFarland Pennell, she discusses links between Hawthorne’s experience at Brook Farm and his novel, The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Greenwood Press
     
  • In this excerpt from The Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne by Melissa McFarland Pennell, she discusses Hawthorne’s doubts about reform movements expressed in his novel, The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Greenwood Press
     
  • In this excerpt from The Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne by Melissa McFarland Pennell, she describes Hawthorne’s treatment of the theme of identity and the secret self through the characters of The Blithedale Romance. (courtesy of Greenwood Press
     
  • In this excerpt from The Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne by Melissa McFarland Pennell, she describes the link between spiritualism and the 19th century reform movements and Hawthorne’s view of spiritualism. (courtesy of Greenwood Press

Lectures and Articles Related to Women inThe Blithedale Romance

Zenobia, illustration from the<I> Essex Institute Historical Collection</I> volume entitled "From Cover to Cover: The Presentation of Hawthorne
Zenobia, illustration from the Essex Institute Historical Collection volume entitled "From Cover to Cover: The Presentation of Hawthorne's Major Romances" (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
 

"The Meanings of Hawthorne's Women," lecture delivered by Dr. Richard Millington, Smith College, at The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site on September 8, 2000.

"Hawthorne and 'The Sphere of Ordinary Womanhood,'"lecture delivered by Melinda M. Ponder at Phillips Library, the Peabody Essex Museum on October 14, 2000.

“’Defy All Hell’: Rappers in the Maison Rouge,” paper by Patricia Dunlavy Valenti, delivered at the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society Conference, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA, June 13, 2014.