Originally published, except one instalment, in "The United States magazine and Democratic review," January to September, 1846. The running title given to the serial was "Papers of an old Dartmoor prisoner, edited by Nathaniel Hawthorne." The unpublished instalment was found in manuscript among Hawthorne's papers. Authorship attributed to Benjamin Frederick Browne, and to John Lord, brother of Hawthorne's grandmother, Miriam Lord Manning. For discussion of authorship, see the Literary digest for April 9, 1927.