Williamson, Richard J.
Dr. Williamson is the Director of the Writing Center at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas. He also teaches classes in writing and literature at Blinn. His other publications include a short biographical essay on writer James K. Barnes in Encyclopedia of American Literature of the Sea and the Great Lakes and a review of the 1996 Norton edition of Winesburg, Ohio in Texas Review.2007 0-7734-5647-3
This book demonstrates how Nathaniel Hawthorne’s lifelong friendship with Franklin Pierce influenced the author’s literary imagination, often prompting him to transform Pierce from his historical personage into a romanticized figure of distinctly Jacksonian qualities. The book also examines how Hawthorne’s friendship with Pierce profoundly influenced a wide range of his work, from his first novel, Fanshawe
(1828), to the Life of Franklin Pierce
(1852) and such later works as the unfinished Septimius romances and the dedicatory materials in Our Old Home
(1863). Finally, the book shows how Pierce became for Hawthorne a literary device – an icon of Jacksonian virtue, a token of the Democratic party, and an emblem of steadfastness, military heroism, and integrity, all three of which were often at odds with Pierce’s historical character.