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Forbidden Tomes: New World Demons – Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Bleak American Fables

When one is in the mood for a romantic stroll through autumnal New England, the stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne offer transport. His fables and novels evoke that era with atmosphere, bringing the reader into a landscape of brisk wind and rich colors, surrounded by the possibility of enigmatic sorcery. Amongst the dying forests and chilly winds, his characters encounter demonic entities, ghosts, and their darkest temptations. His collection of Twice Told Tales, published at the start of his career, showcases a broad example of his themes.

Some of Hawthorne's tales are simply depictions of pastoral New England life; describing a child’s view of her small town in “Little Annie’s Ramble,” or observing village courtship as a storm approaches in “Sights from a Steeple.” Morality inspires and buoys almost all of his substantial stories, often in rather surprising ways. When writing about the Puritans, whose culture is based on infamously rigid moral standards,

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