Tanglewood Tales

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Cover page of first edition (1853)
1921 edition illustrated by Virginia Frances Sterrett

Tanglewood Tales for Boys and Girls (1853) is a book by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, a sequel to A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. It is a re-writing of well-known Greek myths in a volume for children.


The book includes the myths of:

Hawthorne wrote introduction, titled "The Wayside", referring to The Wayside in Concord, where he lived from 1852 until his death. In the introduction, Hawthorne writes about a visit from his young friend Eustace Bright, who requested a sequel to A Wonder-Book, which impelled him to write the Tales. Although Hawthorne informs us in the introduction that these stories were also later retold by Cousin Eustace, the frame stories of A Wonder-Book have been abandoned.

Hawthorne wrote the first book while renting a small cottage in the Berkshires, a vacation area for industrialists during the Gilded Age. The owner of the cottage, a railroad baron, renamed the cottage "Tanglewood" in honor of the book written there. Later, a nearby mansion was renamed Tanglewood, where outdoor classical concerts were held, which became a Berkshire summer tradition. Ironically, Hawthorne hated living in the Berkshires.[1]

The Tanglewood neighborhood of Houston was named after the book. The book was a favorite of Mary Catherine Farrington, the daughter of Tanglewood developer William Farrington.[2] It reportedly inspired the name of the thickly wooded Tanglewood Island in the state of Washington.[3]


  1. ^ Auster, Paul (2003). introduction. Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny By Papa. By Hawthorne, Nathaniel. New York Review Books. p. xxi. For a man who hated the area and ran away from it after just eighteen months, he left his mark on it forever. 
  2. ^ Smith, Brenda Beust. "Just who was...Westheimer/A guide to the people whose names grace the street signs of Houston." Houston Chronicle. Sunday March 23, 1986. Lifestyle 1. Retrieved on October 14, 2012.
  3. ^ Newell, Bernice E. (October 19, 1913). "Tanglewood Island: A Real Fairy Land" (PDF). The Tacoma Tribune. 

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