The Marble Faun

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Marble Faun

The Marble Faun is a gothic romance concerning three young Americans and one young Italian Count who meet in Rome. The book features picturesque descriptions of historic art and architecture in Rome as a backdrop to a tale of mystery, murder, and romance.

Source: Hawthorne, N. (1860). The Marble Faun. Boston: Ticknor and Fields.

Author’s Preface
The preface to the novel.
Chapter I: “Miriam, Hilda, Kenyon, Donatello”
The author introduces the four major characters of the novel.
Chapter II: “The Faun”
Donatello talks of the mythic faun.
Chapter III: “Subterranean Reminiscences”
The author describes Miriam model to the reader. Miriam disappears from the group.
Chapter IV: “The Spectre of the Catacomb”
Miriam returns to the group and acts strangely.
Chapter V: “Miriam’s Studio”
Donatello visits Miriam in her studio.
Chapter VI: “The Virgin’s Shrine”
Leaving her studio, Miriam goes to the statue of the virgin. She and Hilda talk about religion.
Chapter VII: “Beatrice”
Miriam and Hilda talk of a famous portrait, Beatrice.
Chapter VIII: “The Suburban Villa”
The author describes the villa and the surrounding scenery.
Chapter IX: “The Faun and Nymph”
Donatello confesses to Miriam that he loves her.
Chapter X: “The Sylvan Dance”
Miriam tells Donatello that she believes he is a true faun. They frolic and revel in the glade.
Chapter XI: “Fragmentary Sentences”
Miriam talks to the model of death. She fears he might be crazy.
Chapter XII: “A Stroll on the Pincian”
While taking a walk, Hilda and the sculptor spot Donatello and notice his unhappiness.
Chapter XIII: “A Sculptor’s Studio”
Miriam visits Kenyon in his studio.
Chapter XIV: “Cleopatra”
After much discussion, Kenyon unveils his latest statue, Cleopatra, to Miriam.
Chapter XV: “An Aesthetic Company”
A large group of artists, englishmen, tourists (as well as Kenyon, Hilda, Donatello, and Miriam) gather together for an exhibit.
Chapter XVI: “A Moonlight Ramble”
While the party continues, Miriam takes a moonlit walk and is confronted by someone from her past. Noticing her terror, Donatello goes to her and threatens violence on her intruder.
Chapter XVII: “Miriam’s Trouble”
While sitting on a fallen column, the four friends admire the moonlight.
Chapter XVIII: “On the Edge of a Precipice”
Kenyon, Hilda, Donatello, and Miriam search for the chasm.
Chapter XIX: “The Faun’s Transformation”
Miriam confronts Donatello.
Chapter XX: “The Burial Chaunt”
Wondering where Hilda is, Kenyon, Donatello, and Miriam wander into the church to look at the dead monk.
Chapter XXI: “The Dead Capuchin”
Miriam and Donatello recognize the dead monk.
Chapter XXII: “The Medici Garden”
Miriam and Donatello have a discussion in the garden.
Chapter XXIII: “Miriam and Hilda”
Miriam goes to Hilda and speaks of her own guilty feelings.
Chapter XXIV: “The Tower among the Apennines”
Kenyon visits Donatello at the tower residence.
Chapter XXV: “Sunshine”
During his visit, Kenyon asks Donatello to let him mold a bust of him.
Chapter XXVI: “The Pedigree of Monte Beni”
Kenyon discovers many peculiarities and occurances regarding the family history of the Counts of Monte Beni.
Chapter XXVII: “Myths”
Donatello tells Kenyon that he has the gift of talking to animals and tries to communcate with the creatures of nature.
Chapter XXVIII: “The Owl-Tower”
Donatello takes Kenyon to the old tower.
Chapter XXIX: “On the Battlements”
While looking out from the tower, Donatello and Kenyon discuss battles, clouds, and the life of monks.
Chapter XXX: “Donatello’s Bust”
Donatello’s bust is almost completed.
Chapter XXXI: “The Marble Saloon”
Miriam confesses to Kenyon her unhappiness regarding Donatello.
Chapter XXXII: “Scenes by the Way”
The two travelers (Kenyon and Donatello) take a long journey.
Chapter XXXIII: “Pictured Windows”
Donatello and Kenyon continue on their journey and comment on their natural surroundings.
Chapter XXXIV: “Market-Day in Perugia”
Donatello and Kenyon wander through the markets in Perugia.
Chapter XXXV: “The Bronze Pontiff’s Benediction”
Kenyon comes upon Miriam.
Chapter XXXVI: “Hilda’s Tower”
Hilda laments her current situation.
Chapter XXXVII: “The Emptiness of Picture-Galleries”
Hilda wanders through a picture gallery and feels the weariness and lonliness that accompanies it.
Chapter XXXVIII: “Altars and Incense”
Hilda makes a pilgrimage and ponders Catholicism.
Chapter XXXIX: “The World’s Cathedral”
Hilda wanders into a cathedral and becomes entranced by its magic.
Chapter XL: “Hilda and a Friend”
After Hilda receives the priest’s blessing, she is reunited with Kenyon.
Chapter XLI: “Snow-Drops and Maidenly Delights”
Kenyon and Hilda enjoy their reunion and catch up on past events.
Chapter XLII: “Reminiscences of Miriam”
Hilda bids Kenyon never to speak of Miriam
Chapter XLIII: “The Extinction of a Lamp”
Kenyon and Hilda come upon a shrine and, after becoming lost in thought, notice that the shrine's lamp goes out for the first time in centuries.
Chapter XLIV: “The Deserted Shrine”
Upon noticing the flame’s gone out, Kenyon goes inside to investigate.
Chapter XLV: “The Flight of Hilda’s Doves”
Noticing that Hilda’s light has gone out, Kenyon worries for her safety.
Chapter XLVI: “A Walk on the Campagna”
While wandering, Kenyon turns toward the Campagna and, looking for Hilda, spies an artistic treasure.
Chapter XLVII: “The Peasant and Contadina”
Donatello and Miriam arrive in costume telling Kenyon about the carnival.
Chapter XLVIII: “A Scene in the Corso”
The author describes the merriment at the Carnival. The sculptor spots 2 black masked figures.
Chapter XLIX: “A Frolic of the Carnival”
The sculptor tries to follow the figures wearing black masks.
Chapter L: “Miriam, Hilda, Kenyon, Donatello”
Hilda and Kenyon talk of religion and prayer.
The author’s anticipated conclusion.
  • Year Published: 1860
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 11.5
  • Word Count: 146,576
  • Genre: Gothic
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, american literature, nathaniel hawthorne, the marble faun
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