A powerful study of bigotry, persecution, obsession and hypocrisy in early American society, the Penguin Classics edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter contains an introduction by Nina Baym and notes by Thomas E. Connolly.
Set in the harsh Puritan community of seventeenth-century Boston, The Scarlet Letter is the story of Hester Prynne, a married woman who has an affair and gives birth to an illegitimate daughter. Condemned by society for her adultery, she is forced to wear a scarlet A for 'Adulteress' on her dress for the rest of her life. Publicly disgraced and ostracised, Hester refuses to name her lover - drawing on her strength and certainty of spirit to emerge as the first true heroine of American fiction. Hester bears her shame with dignity, and attitudes towards her soften as time passes; Arthur Dimmesdale, her lover, is steadily consumed by his guilt, having disavowed his passion for Hester and any love for their daughter Pearl; while her husband is destroyed by his determination to discover the lover's identity.
In her introduction Nina Baym explores how The Scarlet Letter was not written as realistic, historical fiction but as a 'romance' a creation of the imagination that discloses the truth of the human heart.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-64) was born in Salem, Massachusetts. In 1825 he graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and returned to Salem determined to become a writer. He joined Brook Farm, a utopian experiment in communal living, before marrying in 1842. His writing had already secured some success with his Twice-Told Tales, but it was the publication of The Scarlet Letter in 1850 that brought him immediate recognition, followed a year later by The House of the Seven Gables.
If you enjoyed The Scarlet Letter, you might like Henry James's The Portrait of A Lady, also available in Penguin Classics.
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"[Nathaniel Hawthorne] recaptured, for his New England, the essence of Greek tragedy." --Malcolm Cowley
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Book Description Penguin Classics, U.S.A., 2002. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. Re-issue. 5x7.75. The classic story of Hester Prynne, who had a baby out of wedlock and was forced to wear the scarlet "A" to show her adulterous behavior. Hester is ostracized, but draws on her inner strength to become the first real heroine in American fiction. Includes lengthy introduction. Current print of Penguin Classics edition first published in 2003, of a book first published in 1850. Bookseller Inventory # 016751
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Book Description Penguin Classics, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # BKTY9780142437261
Book Description Penguin Classics, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0142437263
Book Description Penguin Classics 2002-12-31, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised. 0142437263 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0142437263
Book Description Penguin Classics, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110142437263