"On the outskirts of the town, within the verge of the peninsula"
A 1645 map of Boston
Public DomainA 1645 map of Boston - Credit: George Lamb

During Hester’s time, most of Boston’s c.1,200 inhabitants settled in the area surrounding the meeting house on the southern coast of the peninsula. From Hawthorne’s description of the location, it seems likely that Hester took up her cottage residence on the inhospitable marshy lands of the north western coast.

 

Illustration of Hester's
Public DomainIllustration of Hester's "lonesome dwelling" from the 1878 edition - Credit: Mary Hallock Foote