His object in writing them was to preserve for his own use, and the freshening of his recollection, those keen but fleeting impressions which are caused by the first contact with new scenes and persons, and never can be set forth with their original vividness unless promptly embodied in writing.
Portions of the current record which Hawthorne so carefully preserved were afterwards recast and utilized in the chapters of "Our Old Home"; and, had he lived longer, further material from them would very likely have been introduced into his finished work.
They were the result of Hawthorne's residence abroad, on being appointed Consul at Liverpool, by President Pierce.
In 1857, just before leaving England for the Continent, Hawthorne, in writing to Mr.
Among the papers left by him bearing on "Septimius Felton," was a list of references, with the dates, to passages in his English journals, containing matter which he probably thought would prove suggestive and useful when he should come to that part of the contemplated romance which was to enact itself amid English surroundings.
Although the "English Note-Books" are not so abundant in imaginative hints as the English, their range of topic and observation is wider, and they show how readily the author, who had lived as a recluse at home, adapted himself to society, to the obligations which his public position and his fame brought upon him.
LITTLE comment is needed in reference to the "English Note-Books," besides that which Mrs.
To FRANCIS BENNOCH, ESQ., The dear and valued friend, who, by his generous and genial hospitality and unfailing sympathy, contributed so largely (as is attested by the book itself) to render Mr.Hawthorne's residence in England agreeable and homelike, these ENGLISH NOTES are dedicated, with sincere respect and regard, by THE EDITOR.