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Twenty Days with Julian and Little Bunny by Papa
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Twenty Days with Julian and Little Bunny by Papa

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  152 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
On July 28, 1851, Nathaniel Hawthorne's wife Sophia and daughters Una and Rose left their house in Western Massachusetts to visit relatives near Boston. Hawthorne and his five-year-old son Julian stayed behind. How father and son got along over the next three weeks is the subject of this tender and funny extract from Hawthorne's notebooks.

"At about six o'clock I looked ove
Hardcover, 74 pages
Published May 31st 2003 by NYRB Classics (first published 1851)
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Twenty Days with Julian and Little Bunny by Papa by Nathaniel HawthorneThe Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel HawthorneFanshawe by Nathaniel HawthorneThe House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel HawthorneThe Scarlet Letter & the House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Best of Nathaniel Hawthorne
1st out of 28 books — 2 voters
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New York Review Books - Classics
398th out of 410 books — 475 voters

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Community Reviews

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Angelo Giardini
Retirado dos Notebooks de Nathaniel Hawthorne (aqueles Notebooks tão comentados e elogiados por Borges), este pequeno livrinho narra a rotina do autor durante os 20 dias que teve de cuidar de seu filho Julian sem a ajuda de sua esposa que viajara para visitar a família. Embora não tenha sido escrito com essa intenção, o relato da convivência de um pai com seu filho, no longínquo ano de 1851, nos chega como um testemunho da cruel passagem do tempo e da brevidade da vida. Entre os detalhes curioso ...more
I am in love with Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Feb 01, 2016 Stacey rated it really liked it
Charming little book. It's nice to see a side of Hawthorne that's more playful and whimsical, while he cares for and entertains his 5 year old son for 3 weeks in the summer of 1851. Not much happens during their days together but Hawthorne manages to draw us in and paints an almost idyllic setting filled with visitors (including time spent with H. Melville), daily walks to the lake, daydreaming on the shore, seeking and writing letters to his wife, eating nuts and berries, dodging summer storms, ...more
Dec 10, 2012 bookczuk rated it it was amazing
This is the book I had in my choir bag for reading on my Sunday walks when I stopped for a cuppa. It proves that even the scribblings in a notebook of day to day life, if done by a brilliant writer, can be brilliant -- and makes me more determined to burn my journals so that future generations are not subjected to my day-to-day writing dregs.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's writings of his sojourn with his young son, Julian, when Mrs Hawthorne and the two girls were away for a bit. Includes his wonderful o
Karin A.
Jul 07, 2014 Karin A. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-read
Very charming. Nathaniel Hawthorne's three weeks with just him and his five year old son, Julian who he called "old man". Not meant to be published but a diary kept for his wife while she was away. I loved the simplicity as well as the endless chatter from the five year old. Surprised to read that most meals consisted of a cup of milk and a slice of bread for breakfast or crushed currents for dinner and yet they walked an awful lot on so little nourishment. Most times, it was all they had in the ...more
Caroline Auckland
Mar 29, 2013 Caroline Auckland rated it really liked it
Initially I found this a little dry. On the second reading, yes I read it twice, I changed my mind. Once I had taken into account that this was not intended to be published but was a personal journal for his wife, I really enjoyed the account. The daily challenges of everyday parenthood and domestic life exhibited a lovely relationship between father and son that must be unusual for the time period in which it was written. There was a gentle rhythm of the passing of time and the influence of wea ...more
Jutta Ortlepp
Jun 21, 2014 Jutta Ortlepp rated it it was amazing
Tagebuch eine Vaters allein zuhause mit seinem 6-jährigen Sohn. Das muss man nicht publizieren? Doch - wenn der Vater Nathaniel Hawthorne ist und das Jahr 1851. Wunderbar, liebevoll, bezaubernd - mit einem ausführlichen Nachwort von Paul Auster. Unbedingt zusammen mit "Das Paradies der kleinen Dinge", dem gemeinsamen Tagebuch des ersten Ehejahres von Nathaniel und Sophia Hawthorne lesen!
Jun 05, 2014 Kristi rated it it was amazing
A tender and humorous record of twenty days a 19th century father shared with his son, in the absence of his wife and daughters. Excerpted from novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne's private and personal notebooks, this brief narrative will touch your heart. Includes a very nice introduction to the text.
Karin Feeney-Cass
Jan 08, 2010 Karin Feeney-Cass rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Utterly charming. Any parent will enjoy the familiar energies and idiosyncrasies of a small child and be comforted that picky eating transcends time and that boiled rice is merely 1851's answer to mac 'n cheese. Fans of 18th century American literature and history will delight in the interaction between Hawthorne and Melville and mentions of Lowell, Whittier, James, Kemble, Mann, Thackeray, and Fourier. Also enjoyable are the trip to the still standing Shaker Village and comments on the news of ...more
Oct 08, 2008 Joseph added it
My wife raved about this book which is a diary by Nathaniel Hawthorne while he cared for his son Julian in the absence of his wife. I think fathers who have temporarily cared for small children might appreciate it. All good mothers surely will.

My chief criticism comes from imagining how many people would read it if I, not a famous author, had written it. My questions to the author, if he were still present, include: Why did Julian eat so much bread? and Why did you not supply his fishing line wi
Joseph Bergan
Dec 22, 2015 Joseph Bergan rated it liked it
A cute little book to read about being a dad alone with a young boy. Nice intro by Paul Auster that went on a little too long.
Ann Marie
Jul 30, 2012 Ann Marie rated it it was amazing
From Hawthorne's notebooks, where he chronicled the 3 weeks he spent alone here in Lenox, Mass, with his 5-year-old son while his wife and two other children were out of town. It's charming in that he writes about the small details of their days...trying to fix Julian's hair, getting tired of all his questions, what they ate for dinner, all the mock battles they had before bed. A very different voice from the one he uses in his fiction: his own voice, simple and truthful. I could have read about ...more
Dec 27, 2007 Sister rated it really liked it
When reading these excerpts from Hawthorne's notebooks, I'm reminded of Proust. Hawthorne's writing is highly descriptive and tinged with nostalgia. For one, his sentences about Monument Mountain's bulge and the weather remind me of Proust's notations about the familiar silhouette of a certain steeple in Combray. A similar kinship exists in Hawthorne's treatment when outlining varieties of foods, hairstyles, garden features and the outdoors (children in the outdoors in particular), and lists of ...more
Caryn Hederman
Aug 21, 2007 Caryn Hederman rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: New parents with a literary bend
Biography. Read this book if you enjoy Nathaniel Hawthorne and are a new parent. Hawthorne kept a diary during the twenty days his wife was away at her parents with their infant and Hawthorne stayed home with their young son. It's short, sweet, and filled with the wonder, exasperation, exhaustion, and incredible love shared by new parents of every age. A great read when you're suffering through the sleepless nights of the first year.
Nov 26, 2013 Terry rated it really liked it
This is simply a journal of 20 days Hawthorne spent with is 5 year-old son during the summer of 1851 while is wife and daughter were in Boston. It’s an interesting peak into 19th Century life. At times kinda boring, pretty every-day American, but then Herman Melville shows up – how many folks can put that in their diary? I purchased this at the House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA where Hawthorne lived for most of his life.
Aug 18, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it
A charming record of a few weeks in the fall of 1851, which Nathaniel Hawthorne spent alone with his son (and his pet rabbit) while the rest of his family went to Boston. Not much happens--they eat, they take walks, they receive a few visitors--but Hawthorne here is different from his usually melancholy self, more whimsical and even funny. A quick self-portrait of a mostly unknown side of Hawthorne.
Joseph Wiederhold
May 01, 2009 Joseph Wiederhold rated it it was amazing
For the past two years I have been a stay at home daytime-dad, so perhaps my reading was biased. But I loved this read. If you are a fan of transcendentalism, dark-romanticism, Hawthorne or parenting this is a fascinating journal. Like Hawthorne's fiction, this journal creates a mirror for self reflection. Thankfully it is layered with enough humor to ease the blow.
Feb 12, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it
Delightful little read about some intense days of parenting... With servants to do the cooking and cleaning. (must be nice, that.). Adorable kids and lots of nice nature time. I felt a bit jealous, and glad he captured this detail for all time. Must remember to write in kids' journals...
Sep 12, 2009 Ord rated it really liked it
A surprising side of the ol' goth romantic! Now I see why Thoreau built a garden for Nathaniel and Sophia. Highlights some of his Transcendental leanings despite his brooding/Puritan baggage. Also, really fun to read his straightforward writing in contrast to his usu. flowery thick prose.
May 30, 2010 Lornassutton rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this little book - it is delightful. I heard about it on NPR. I liked it much better when I read the introduction after the rest of the book. It is a journal of Nathaniel Hawthorne (A Scarlett Letter) while he is taking care of his son while his wife is away.
Jun 16, 2008 Kristina rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: not really
This book bored me to tears. This was basically a journal of a father (Nathaniel Hawthorne) watching his son Julian for 20 days while his wife is gone. It was fun to hear the point of veiw from a dad while being with his young son, but it was boring.
May 07, 2010 Audra rated it it was amazing
Wanted to read this book for a long time. Beautiful recount of a father's days with his child. Their uncluttered life is so different, yet in many ways the same. Lovely journal of affection and endearing family life.
Sep 15, 2013 Adele rated it it was amazing
Read this when I first bought it while in Salem, Mass in July 2003. I so enjoyed it! A side of Nathaniel Hawthorne one doesn't see in his other books. Absolutely delightful!
Nov 19, 2009 M. rated it really liked it
A wonderfully sweet book. I have found most Nathaniel Hawthorne fine books, but long-winded and (I'm almost ashamed to admit it) dull, but this was absolutely delightful.
Jan 13, 2012 Anne rated it liked it
He took care of his 5 year old son for 20 days while Mrs. H & their 2 daughters went to Boston. I could quite sympathize with some of his problems in taking care of Julian.
Feb 26, 2010 Becca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-in-boston
An eye-opening look at Hawthorne's family life - never expected to be so thoroughly charmed, given his reserve and mostly serious subject matter.
May 27, 2008 Ellen rated it it was amazing
I found this screamingly funny. Seriously. I know you don't think about Hawthorne that way, but trust me on this one....
Jul 24, 2014 matt rated it liked it

Charming glimpse at the home life of the Hawthornes- one of literature's authentically happiest couples...
Jul 30, 2008 Evan rated it liked it
Nice book for dads, fits in your back pocket so you can read it while sitting in the sandbox.
Jul 20, 2014 Mckinley rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography, family, rodent
He is left with his son for several weeks and keeps a journal.
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  • Pages from the Goncourt Journals
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  • Letters, Summer 1926
  • Louisa May Alcott: A Biography: With an Introduction to the New Edition
  • Seven Men
  • The New York Stories
  • Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist
  • Melville: His World and Work
  • The Life of Henry Brulard
  • Apartment in Athens
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. He is seen as a key figure in the development of American literature for his tales of the nation's colonial history.

Shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College, Hathorne changed his name to Hawthorne. Hawthorne anonymously published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, in 1828. In 1837, he published Twice-Told T
More about Nathaniel Hawthorne...

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