The Hawthorne - Bennoch Collection (1 box, 0.5 linear feet) comprises more than 100 letters sent from American author Julian Hawthorne to his English benefactor Francis Bennoch from 1872-1889, written mostly during his residence in England from 1874-1881. There are also more than a dozen letters supplementing the series from Hawthorne to his publishers and others, as well as letters regarding Hawthorne written to Bennoch from other parties. The letters shed light on the early career of Hawthorne in England, in particular on his anguished attempts to achieve financial independence solely from his writing and to manage his affairs in America from England, while providing for his growing family. One concern which arises repeatedly in the letters is the securing and handling of copyrights prior to any international convention between England and the United States. Also reflected in the collection are some of Hawthorne's numerous associations with prominant figures of the time including notable businessmen and American diplomats, as well as publishers, editors, and writers.


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES: Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934), the second child and only son of author Nathaniel Hawthorne, was an author, critic, and journalist; until the close of the 19th century he published a substantial number of novels, short stories, and reviews, while after this period he worked primarily as a journalist. He is today best remembered for his biography of his father "Hawthorne and His Wife" and his childhood memoir "Hawthorne and His Circle". While he is largely forgotten as an author of fiction today, his popular romantic works achieved a fair degree of success while he lived. In spite of this success, however, he was plagued by financial difficulties and the stresses of providing for a large family through writing, and in 1913 spent several months in prison for his involvement (perhaps unwitting) in a scheme to defraud investors. After writing a condemnation of the American penal system based on his experience, the latter part of his career was limited mainly to his journalistic work and the writing of memoirs.

(Source: "American National Biography." Vol. 10. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 356-357.)

Francis Bennoch (1812-1890) was a prominent English businessman, Member of Parliament, patron of literature, and an amateur poet who published several books. He enjoyed the friendship of many of the greatest figures of literature of his time including Wordsworth, Dickens, and Longfellow; however, his closest association was that with Nathaniel Hawthorne, whom he met during the latter's residence in England as American Consul in Liverpool, an association recorded in Hawthorne's "English Note-Books".

(Sources: "Poets and Poetry of Scotland." Wilson, James Grant. New York: Harper & Brothers, Pub. 1876, p. 357. "Passages from the English Note-Books of Nathaniel Hawthorne." Boston: James R. Osgood & Co., 1871. "Hawthorne's Friend Bennoch." New York Times, July 12, 1890, p. 2. Quoted from his obituary published in the Pall Mall Gazette.

Status: Open to researchers.
Provenance: Purchased from Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., 10/12/1976. Processed by Ted L. Jackson, December 2007

BULK DATES: 1872 - 1881
SPAN DATES: 1872 - 1889

EXTENT: 1 box, 0.5 l.f.


SERIES: 1. Corresp. from Julian Hawthorne to Francis Bennoch

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Correspondence from Julian Hawthorne to Francis Bennoch, including several letters from others, one autographed poem, and one autographed book review.

SERIES: 2. Correspondence from others

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Correspondence from various others to Francis Bennoch and to Julian Hawthorne.