Spring Exhibition Opening: What Hawthorne Read

May 3, 2017 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Salem Athenaeum
337 Essex St
Salem, MA 01970

What Hawthorne Read From the Collections of the Salem Athenaeum

Nathaniel Hawthorne delved into the depths of human nature in his fiction and prose.  A keen observer of people and places, including his hometown of Salem, he enhanced his vision with extensive reading.

Between 1828 and 1855, Hawthorne took out hundreds of volumes from the Salem Athenaeum.  They included books of history, poetry, fiction, philosophy, religion, science and travel, written in French, German and Spanish as well as in English.

Some of what he gleaned from his reading appears, transformed, in his writing. Like the soap bubbles he describes in The House of The Seven Gables, his work portrays life in “hues as bright as imagination.” Visit our Spring Exhibition and see a selection of the books that Hawthorne borrowed, often accompanied by passages from his own work.

Opening reception precedes the Annual Meeting