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Ponder Talk

On June 15, 1986 the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society held a meeting at the Hawthorne House in Raymond, Maine.  Professor Melinda Ponder of the Boston College Department of English gave a talk entitled “Hawthorne in Raymond”. This is perhaps the most detailed and elaborately researched work available on this subject, running about 14 typewritten pages.  The literary and biographical references given at the end of the paper will be of interest to anyone interested in doing further research. Due to its length, only the introductory paragraph is reproduced here, but the full text and bibliography may be downloaded as an Adobe Acrobat file for viewing or printing by clicking on the Adobe icon to the left.

CLICK on the Adobe icon at left to download the complete text of this talk

“I want to welcome you to the Hawthorne Meeting Hall and express the gratitude of the Hawthorne Society to the Hawthorne Community Association for the preservation of this building which was originally built for Hawthorne's mother and her three children in 1818. We are certainly delighted to be holding our meeting here today.  I feel a special honor at speaking within the walls where Hawthorne once lived.  Indeed, I believe it is the first time that the Society has held a Conference session in one of Hawthorne's homes. Our visit today to Raymond brings us to the place where Hawthorne recalled having been happiest (Fields, 113), a distinction which he did not give to Salem, Brunswick, Boston, Lenox, or Concord.  I hope that our being here in this landscape and reconstructing Hawthorne's experience in it when he was a boy will help us understand why Raymond, Maine loomed so large in Hawthorne's imagination and what it contributed to his development as a writer.” [download PDF file for complete text]