Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 – 1864) was an American novelist and short story writer. Born in Salem, Massachusetts, his ancestors included John Hathorne, the only judge involved in the Salem witch trials who never repented of his actions (Nathaniel added a "w" to his name to hide this connection). He entered Bowdoin College, 1821 and graduated 1825. He anonymously published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, 1828. He published several short stories in various periodicals which he collected in 1837 as Twice-Told Tales. The next year, he was engaged to Sophia Peabody. He worked at a Custom House and joined Brook Farm, a transcendentalist community, before marrying Peabody in 1842. They moved to Concord, Massachusetts, later moving to Salem, the Berkshires, then back to Concord. The Scarlet Letter (never read I'm afraid) was published 1850, followed by a succession of other novels. A political appointment took Hawthorne to Europe before returning in 1860. Much of his writing centres on New England, many works featuring moral allegories with a Puritan inspiration. His fiction works are considered part of the Romantic movement and, more specifically, Dark romanticism. His themes often centre on the inherent evil and sin of humanity, and his works often have moral messages and deep psychological complexity. His published works include a biography of his friend Franklin Pierce.