Well, apparently it's also the bicentennial of Hawthorne's birth. The fesitivities be comin', because hey, N.H. was a load of laughs, right?
He attended Bowdoin College along with a future poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and a future president, Franklin Pierce. Even then, Hawthorne was an enigma. "I love Hawthorne," said a fellow student. "I admire him; but I do not know him." Hawthorne remembered himself as "an idle student ... rather choosing to nurse my own fancies."
Actually, to be fair, I was recently charmed by the NYRB-reissued Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny by Papa.