Nathaniel Hawthorne’s relationship to the burgeoning sentimental culture that flourished at the height of his career has prompted much critical speculation. Seemingly unaware of his privileged cultural position as a male author and threatened by the monumental success of female domestic writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Hawthorne famously separated himself from the “d____d mob of scribbling women,” claiming that his own art could never succeed “while the public taste [was] occupied with their trash” (C 17: 304). Despite his protestations, Hawthorne was neither immune nor unresponsive to the pressures of popular taste, and the gloomy and provocative nature of much of his work is offset by forays into the purely sentimental. In compiling his first major signed work, Twicetold Tales, Hawthorne carefully gauged his audience, choosing to include highly sentimental sketches, while eschewing darker pieces such as “Roger Malvin’s Burial” and “Young Goodman Brown.” Proving himself an excellent barometer of public taste, Hawthorne was early rewarded with critical praise that cited his most conventionally sentimental tales-“Sights from a Steeple,” “A Rill from the Town Pump,” and “Little Annie’s Rambles”—as evidence of his artistic prowess.