Colgan, Kathleen P.
About the author: A recipient of numerous academic awards (including the National Richard M. Weaver Fellowship), Kathleen Colgan pursued a broad spectrum of learning at a variety of highly respected universities in diverse geographical and cultural locations. She has brought a strong philosophic interest in literature and political theory to university courses she has taught at the University of Texas, the University of Notre Dame, and Rice University.
From Brown University, she earned an A.B. in political science as well as in English and American literature. She has an M.A. degree in political philosophy and international relations from Rice University, an M.A. degree in English and American literature from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. degree in English and American literature from the University of Texas in Austin.2002 0-7734-7359-9
Drawing upon the disciplines of literary analysis and political theory, this study reviews and considers the notable influence of actual political events and ideologies on Hawthorne, and argues that he reacted to radical reform ideologies with a set of beliefs and understandings characteristic of the conservative political thinker. It also demonstrates that Hawthorne, like Burke, distinguished between the philosophic justification for the American Revolution and the ideological impetus for the French Revolution.
“The brooding pessimism underlying Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fiction has often drawn scholarly comment, but Kathleen Colgan’s courageous book takes us directly to the smouldering edge of his profound doubts about human nature and social institutions. . . . Colgan’s articulate and deeply researched study pays particular attention to Hawthorne’s attitudes regarding the philosophers, historians, and events connected with the French Revolution, and then identifies the echoes of these opinions in his fiction and essays. The result is a book that reminds us again that we cannot outrun history and moreover, that Hawthorne can never be adequately understood outside the political and cultural context of his times.” – Alan Gribben