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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Warring Doctors and Meddling Ministers


Nathaniel Hawthorne’s stories “The Rejected Blessing” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter” dramatize ideological competition among doctors and clergymen from Renaissance Italy to colonial Boston over care of the body. In the context of Hawthorne’s life, these stories show his foresighted theorizing of medical hegemony and its dangers to public and individual health.