Sophia Peabody Hawthorne Criticism - Essay

Claire M. Badaracco (essay date spring 1981)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Badaracco, Claire M. “Pitfalls and Rewards of the Solo Editor: Sophia Peabody Hawthorne.” Resources for American Literary Study 11, no. 1 (spring 1981): 91-100.

[In the following essay, Badaracco places Hawthorne's editorship of her husband's journals in historical context and reflects on the process of editing Hawthorne's own Cuba Journal.]

When I began to edit the Cuba Journal as a solo editorial project, I recall describing in blithe naivete my aspirations and goals. I told a distinguished colleague that because the collection which housed the document permitted neither microfilm nor typewriters, I was planning to transcribe in pencil the...

(The entire section is 4050 words.)

Thomas Woodson, James A. Rubino, and Jamie Barlow Kayes (essay date 1988)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Woodson, Thomas, James A. Rubino, and Jamie Barlow Kayes. “With Hawthorne in Wartime Concord: Sophia Hawthorne's 1862 Diary.” Studies in the American Renaissance (1988): 281-84.

[In the following excerpt, Woodson, Rubino, and Kayes consider the background to Hawthorne's journal of 1862.]

In addition to her considerable correspondence, Sophia Hawthorne left behind several notebooks, journals, and diaries—documents that will allow scholars to follow the incidents of her life in much more consistent detail than can be done for her husband's. He often tried to efface documents of a merely biographical interest, allowing survival much more frequently to...

(The entire section is 1476 words.)

Patricia Dunlavy Valenti (essay date 1990)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Valenti, Patricia Dunlavy. “Sophia Peabody Hawthorne: A Study of Artistic Influence.” Studies in the American Renaissance (1990): 1-21.

[In the following essay, Valenti highlights the importance of Hawthorne's painting and appreciation of art and the influence these had on others around her, including her husband.]

“Sophia, wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne” is the simple inscription which marks the grave of a woman remembered for her marriage to one of the foremost men in American letters. However, she deserves to be remembered among the earliest women in American painting. The flawlessness of her copies could have provided her with a comfortable living, but...

(The entire section is 8138 words.)

T. Walter Herbert (essay date 1993)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Herbert, T. Walter. “The Queen of All She Surveys.” In Dearest Beloved: The Hawthornes and the Making of the Middle-Class Family, pp. 37-58. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

[In the following essay, Herbert analyzes the inner fears and sadness of Hawthorne's early life and summarizes her spiritual and social thought.]

Sophia Hawthorne is the most vilified wife in American literary history, after having been in her own time the most admired. Elizabeth Shaw Melville has been blamed for not having measured up to Fayaway, and although Lidian Emerson was eminently presentable, like her short-lived predecessor, Ellen Louisa Tucker, neither woman is...

(The entire section is 10064 words.)

Patricia Dunlavy Valenti (essay date 1996)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Valenti, Patricia Dunlavy. “Sophia Peabody Hawthorne's American Notebooks.Studies in the American Renaissance (1996): 115-28.

[In the following excerpt, Valenti discusses Hawthorne's editing of her husband's journals, contrasting entries written by Sophia and by Nathaniel in the family notebooks from which the published Hawthorne journals were derived.]

Within months of Nathaniel Hawthorne's death, James T. Fields suggested to Sophia Hawthorne the publication of a series of extracts from her husband's journals. Sophia initially rejected this overture, but her financial situation quickly dictated that she accept the enticing offer of $100.00 per...

(The entire section is 5227 words.)

Luanne Jenkins Hurst (essay date 1999)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Hurst, Luanne Jenkins. “The Chief Employ of Her Life: Sophia Peabody Hawthorne's Contribution to Her Husband's Career.” In Hawthorne and Women: Engendering and Expanding the Hawthorne Tradition, edited by John L. Idol, Jr. and Melinda M. Ponder, pp. 45-54. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999.

[In the following essay, Hurst concentrates on Hawthorne's indefatigable support of her husband in his literary pursuits.]

Sophia Hawthorne once wrote to her sister Mary Mann: “If I could help my husband in his labors, I feel that that would be the chief employ of my life. But all I can do for him externally is to mend his shirts &...

(The entire section is 4997 words.)

Bettina L. Knapp (essay date March 2002)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Knapp, Bettina L. “But It Is Impossible in Such Hurried Visits to Immortal Works, to Give an Adequate Idea of Their Character.” Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 22, no. 1-2 (March 2002): 47-58.

[In the following essay, Knapp explores Hawthorne's responses to Italian Renaissance art as contained in the “Roman Journal” portion of her Notes in England and Italy.]

“Character,” upon which Sophia Hawthorne's art appraisals focused, spawned many of the critical responses … imprinted in her “Roman Journal” (1858). Not only did her probings reveal an ingrained sense of esthetics, a historical understanding of the artists and the periods...

(The entire section is 5537 words.)

Julie E. Hall (essay date 2002)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Hall, Julie E. “‘Coming to Europe,’ Coming to Authorship: Sophia Hawthorne and Her Notes in England and Italy.Legacy 19, no. 2 (2002): 137-51.

[In the following essay, Hall portrays Hawthorne's transformation from amanuensis and editor for her husband to professional writer as the author of Notes in England and Italy.]

With the publication of Notes in England and Italy, a volume based on letters and journals she wrote while the Hawthorne family lived abroad from 1853 to 1860, Sophia Peabody Hawthorne for the first and last time in her life put herself “into a pair of book covers,” as she once described it, and presented herself...

(The entire section is 9016 words.)