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Time's Portraiture (From: "The Doliver Romance and Other Pieces: Tales and Sketches")   By: (1804-1864)

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Time's Portraiture by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a thought-provoking collection of tales and sketches that invites readers to reflect deeply on the passage of time and its effects on the human condition. These stories explore the theme of time in a unique and profound manner, showcasing Hawthorne's remarkable storytelling abilities.

The book comprises a series of intricately woven narratives, each examining the concept of time from a different perspective. Through Hawthorne's evocative prose, readers are transported to various time periods and introduced to a diverse cast of characters. From past to present, and even glimpses into the future, the author skillfully depicts the profound impact of time on these individuals' lives.

One of the standout stories in this collection is "The Doliver Romance." This thought-provoking tale follows the protagonist, Doliver, as he embarks on a quest to uncover the secrets of his ancestry. As Doliver delves deeper into his family's past, he discovers a mystical portrait that reveals hidden truths about his heritage and the flow of time. Hawthorne's use of symbolism and descriptive language captivates the reader, immersing them in the haunting atmosphere of the story.

Another compelling piece in the collection is "Time's Portraiture." In this sketch, Hawthorne explores the concept of time as both an ally and a foe. Through the narrative of a young artist who stumbles upon a magical timepiece, readers are taken on a journey that questions the nature of temporal reality. Hawthorne's deft handling of this complex theme renders the story a true highlight.

Hawthorne's ability to intertwine realism with elements of the fantastical is evident throughout the book. His prose is richly textured, painting vivid landscapes and delving deep into the psychology of his characters. Whether exploring the effects of time on love, ambition, or identity, the author manages to evoke a wide range of emotions and provoke intense introspection.

One aspect that stands out in Time's Portraiture is Hawthorne's skillful portrayal of the human condition. The characters in these tales are multi-dimensional, flawed, and relatable. Their struggles and desires resonate with readers, highlighting the universal nature of the themes explored. Hawthorne's examination of the temporal nature of existence offers philosophical insights that linger long after the book is finished.

While Time's Portraiture may not be as widely known as some of Hawthorne's more celebrated works, it nevertheless showcases the author's exceptional talent for storytelling and deep understanding of the complexities of human nature. This collection is a testament to Hawthorne's enduring literary legacy, and a must-read for anyone seeking a profound exploration of the concept of time.

First Page:



By Nathaniel Hawthorne


Being the Carrier's Address to the Patrons of "The Salem Gazette" for the 1st of January, 1838.


Kind Patrons: We newspaper carriers are Time's errand boys; and all the year round, the old gentleman sends us from one of your doors to another, to let you know what he is talking about and what he is doing. We are a strange set of urchins; for, punctually on New Year's morning, one and all of us are seized with a fit of rhyme, and break forth in such hideous strains, that it would be no wonder if the infant Year, with her step upon the threshold, were frightened away by the discord with which we strive to welcome her. On these occasions, most generous patrons, you never fail to give us a taste of your bounty; but whether as a reward for our verses, or to purchase a respite from further infliction of them, is best known to your worshipful selves. Moreover, we, Time's errand boys as aforesaid, feel it incumbent upon us, on the first day of every year, to present a sort of summary of our master's dealings with the world, throughout the whole of the preceding twelvemonth. Now it has so chanced by a misfortune heretofore unheard of, that I, your present petitioner, have been altogether forgotten by the Muse... Continue reading book >>

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