Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American writer who wrote in the first half of the 19th century. He lived and wrote in New England and his most famous novel is "The Scarlet Letter" about Puritans living in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1600's. His ancestry was Puritan and he analyzed and looked into Puritan beliefs and life in this novel. It is the story of Hester Pryne who has a child out of wedlock by the local minister, who refuses to claim the child has his. Hester refuses to name the father so as punishment for her sin she must wear a large scarlet A (for adultery) embroidered on her clothing on the chest to atone for her sin.
Hawthorne delves into the meaning of sin and punishment in the novel and how the Puritans believed and treated one another. As to a biography, I don't know any biographies of Hawthorne off hand, but if you just google his name I'm sure one will come up.