A Virtuoso's Collection

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"A Virtuoso's Collection" is the final short story in Mosses from an Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was first published in Boston Miscellany of Literature and Fashion, I (May 1842), 193-200. The story references a number of historical and mythical figures, items, beasts, books, etc. as part of a museum collection. Some scholars regard the real-life museum of the East India Marine Society in Salem, Massachusetts, as a model for Hawthorne's fictional museum.[1] The narrator is led through the collection by the virtuoso himself who turns out to be the Wandering Jew.

The collection[edit]


  1. ^ Charles E. Goodspeed (1946), Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Museum of the Salem East India Marine Society, Salem, Mass.: Peabody Museum  (fulltext via HathiTrust)
  2. ^ http://shakespeare.palomar.edu/rowe.htm

Further reading[edit]


  • Goluboff, Benjamin (1995). "'A Virtuoso's Collection': Hawthorne, History, and the Wandering Jew". Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 1995 Spring; 21 (1): 14-25. ISSN 0890-4197.
  • McMurray, Price (2002). "'I Would Write on the Lintels of the Door-Post, Whim': History and Idealism in A Virtuoso's Collection. Conference of College Teachers of English Studies 2002 September; 67: 32-42. ISSN 0092-8151.