Although most writers on Nathaniel Hawthorne touch on the importance of Salem, Massachusetts, to his life and career, detailed study has been published on the powerful heritage bequeathed to him by his ancestors and present to him during his years in that town. In The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret B. Moore thoroughly investigates Hawthorne's family, his education before college (about which almost thing has been kwn), and Salem's religious and political influences on him. She details what Salem had to offer Hawthorne in the way of entertainment and stimulation, discusses his friends and acquaintances, and examines the significant role of women in his life - particularly Mary Crowninshield Silsbee and Sophia Peabody. By tracing the effect of Salem on Hawthorne's writing, The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne makes clear that Hawthorne t only was aware of his own dear native place but also drew upon it consciously and subconsciously in his work. This book contributes to a better understanding of Hawthorne as man and writer and of Salem's vital part in his life and work.
Margaret B. Moore, an independent scholar, has published widely on Hawthorne. She lives in Athens, Georgia.