Hawthorne supported himself through another political post, the consulship in Liverpool, which he was given for writing a campaign biography for Franklin Pierce.
In 1852, after the publication of , Hawthorne returned to Concord and bought a house called Hillside, owned by Louisa May Alcott's family. He briefly proceeded to travel and live in France and Italy, but he returned to The Wayside just before the Civil War began.
His first novel, , was unsuccessful and Hawthorne himself later disavowed the work as amateurish.
He wrote several successful short stories, however, including "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," "Roger Malvin's Burial," "The Birth-Mark," and "Young Goodman Brown"—arguably Hawthorne's most famous short story.
New England provides a place where his characters can develop, and a setting where his themes can be illustrated and his symbols expressed.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts.
He illustrated the evils of pride in “My Kinsmen, Major Molineaux”, “Young Goodman Brown”, “Ethan Brand”, and numerous other works (Reuben).
Additionally, Hawthorne employed the theme of guilt.
His intense suffering infused the novel with imaginative energy, leading him to describe it as a "hell-fired story." On February 3, 1850, Hawthorne read the final pages to his wife.
According to him, Peabody had an immensely emotional reaction to the work: "It broke her heart and sent her to bed with a grievous headache, which I look upon as a triumphant success." were both considered disappointments.