To the Editors:
It is doubtful that anyone wants me to dispute the points, such as they are, of Tuttleton’s long-winded and ill-natured assault on my Hawthorne’s Secret. But I will object to his failure to mention the fact that, though the evidence—fictional and biographical—that Hawthorne knew the court records containing his ancestral secret is obviously circumstantial, it is abundant. I also note that the reviewer never gives a clue as to what he means by “the cavalier way” in which I treat the author’s life. Then, misrepresenting my argument, he charges “rhetorical duplicity.”

Last he has me claiming that Hawthorne’s relationship with his sister Ebe was “a displacement of his longing for his mother.” This states what I do not believe and did not say—and makes me a psychoanalytic critic to boot. That established, Tuttleton announces that I am “oblivious”...

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