Nathaniel Hawthorne published his first novel, Fanshawe, as an anonymous author in 1828. He continued writing and in 1837, published various short stories as Twice Told Tales.
In 1838, Hawthorne became engaged to Sophia Peabody and worked at a custom house and joined Brook Farm, a transcendentalist community, before marrying her in 1842. (Hawthorne's experiences at the custom house and Brook Farm influence themes of his novels: specifically, The Scarlet Letter and The Blithedale Romance).
The Scarlet Letter was published in 1850 along with various other novels. A political appointment called the Hawthorne family to Europe until they returned in the year 1860. Nathaniel Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, leaving his wife and three children behind.