Together Again, at Last
LYNN NEARY, host:
This week came word of a marital reunion long in the making. Nathanial and Sophie Hawthorne were married for 22 years and in that time were extremely close. During their only separation, Sophia wrote in her journal, I once thought that no power on earth should ever induce me to live without thee and an ocean should never roll between us. Nathanial Hawthorne's most famous works, The Scarlet Letter and the House of Seven Gables, are considered to be moral allegories and tinged with the cold judgments for Puritanism. And yet his relationship with his wife was by all accounts warm, passionate and romantic. But when the author died in Plymouth, New Hampshire in 1864, a grief-stricken Sophia did cross an ocean. She took their three children to England and was buried in London in 1871.
This week the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, who maintain the family graves in England, announced that the remains of Sophia and daughter Una will be interred next to Nathanial later this month at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts. What the nuns will join together, let no man put asunder.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.