Tanglewood Tales

Cover page of first edition (1853)
1921 edition illustrated by Virginia Frances Sterrett

Tanglewood Tales for Boys and Girls (1853) is a book by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, a sequel to A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. It is a re-writing of well-known Greek myths in a volume for children.


The book includes the myths of:

Hawthorne wrote introduction, titled "The Wayside", referring to The Wayside in Concord, where he lived from 1852 until his death. In the introduction, Hawthorne writes about a visit from his young friend Eustace Bright, who requested a sequel to A Wonder-Book, which impelled him to write the Tales. Although Hawthorne informs us in the introduction that these stories were also later retold by Cousin Eustace, the frame stories of A Wonder-Book have been abandoned.

Hawthorne wrote the first book while renting a small cottage in the Berkshires, a vacation area for industrialists during the Gilded Age. The owner of the cottage, a railroad baron, renamed the cottage "Tanglewood" in honor of the book written there. Later, a nearby mansion was renamed Tanglewood, where outdoor classical concerts were held, which became a Berkshire summer tradition. Ironically, Hawthorne hated living in the Berkshires.[1]

The Tanglewood neighborhood of Houston was named after the book. The book was a favorite of Mary Catherine Farrington, the daughter of Tanglewood developer William Farrington.[2] It reportedly inspired the name of the thickly wooded Tanglewood Island in the state of Washington.[3]


  1. Auster, Paul (2003). introduction. Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny By Papa. By Hawthorne, Nathaniel. New York Review Books. p. xxi. For a man who hated the area and ran away from it after just eighteen months, he left his mark on it forever.
  2. Smith, Brenda Beust. "Just who was...Westheimer/A guide to the people whose names grace the street signs of Houston." Houston Chronicle. Sunday March 23, 1986. Lifestyle 1. Retrieved on October 14, 2012.
  3. Newell, Bernice E. (October 19, 1913). "Tanglewood Island: A Real Fairy Land" (PDF). The Tacoma Tribune.
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