Nathaniel Hawthorne was born is Salem, Massachusetts in 1804. His father died when he was four years old. His first novel, Fanshawe, was published anonymously at his own expense in 1828. He later disowned the novel and burned the remaining copies. For the next twenty years he made his living as a writer of tales and children's stories. He assured his reputation with the publication of The Scarlet Letter in 1850 and The House of the Seven Gables the following year. In 1853 he was appointed consul in Liverpool, England, where he lived for four years. He died in 1864.