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Collected Novels: Fanshawe/The Scarlet Letter/ The House of the Seven…

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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541431,983 (4.17)1 / 3
Here in one volume are all five of Nathaniel Hawthorne's world-famous novels. "The House of the Seven Gables" moves across 150 years from an ancestral crime condoned by the Puritan theocracy to a new beginning in the bustling and democratic Jacksonian era. Hawthorne's masterpiece, "The Scarlet Letter," is a dramatic allegory of the social consequences of adultery and the subversive force of personal desire in a community of laws. "The Blithedale Romance" explores the perils, which Hawthorne knew at first hand, of living in a utopian community, and the inextricability of political, personal, and sexual desires. "Fanshawe" is an engrossing apprentice work which Hawthorne published anonymously and later sought to suppress. "The Marble Faun," his last finished novel, involves mystery, murder, and romance among American artists in Rome.… (more)

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Showing 4 of 4
"Fanshawe", "The scarlet letter", "The house of the seven gables", "The blithedale romance", "The marble faun"
  IICANA | Apr 21, 2016 |
Boy was this a stinker. Got half way through and quit. It's not a novel, but perhaps it should have been a play. There's little setting, little description, nothing vivid about it. Half way through and still no idea how these people decided to get together to change the world (by farming and competing with the other farmers in the local market -- yeah, that'll make the world a better place). I really would like to know why this poor writer is thought so highly of. (Sorry, ended in a preposition. Shoot me.) Why do they keep making kids read The Scarlet Letter? Give 'em some Flannery O'Connor! That'll wake 'em up. ( )
  BobNolin | May 29, 2012 |
Too bad kids are forced to read this is school when they don't have patience and time to appreciate this incredible set of fiction pieces. The plots are so credible that often the reader turns into one of the protagonists! ( )
  Lapsus16 | May 30, 2011 |
classic literature and one of my favorites. Of the novels, I have not read Fanshawe and it has been a very long time since I have read The House of Seven Gables. Long time as in I was about seven Years. Maybe 9.Before 200 channels of TV, radio, computers, and journalism, writers could write the way Hawthorne wrote. Readers had the patience to make their way through sentences so dense that you could chew them, description so vivid you could taste them. This is not to say that there hasn't been quantities of fine writing since the electronic age, but there sure hasn't been another Hawthorne or James, his literary heir. Some readers may be glad of that. Not me. I love the richness of 19th century prose. When I sit down with Melville, James, Trollope, G. Eliot or Hawthorne, I know I am going to be quite pleasurably lost in a sea of words.

The Blithedale Romance to some extent follows the pattern of The Scarlet Letter and The Marble Faun; strong independent woman with a secret in her past and a shadowy maleficent man from whose hold she cannot break free. However, this novel of the founding of a Utopian community takes several new paths both in tone and narrative. As with all of Hawthorne's work there is a mysterious aspect to the narrative and the relationships of the characters, but in Blithedale the sense of other-worldliness is immediate and lasting. Another difference is that despite the tragic nature of the tale, the tone is more buoyant than in any other work that I have read by him. And, also not typical, with the use of the cynical Miles Coverdale who is willing to laugh at his own play at idealism as narrator, the book is often very funny. Thematically there is a great deal to chew on with the most important or interesting themes being, I suppose, the question of whether or not we can really better mankind as a whole and the paradox of the philanthropist, a man or woman who begins with a genuine concern for their cause but in the end becomes dehumanized by it.

Fanciful, funny, rich in sympathy, sobering and thought provoking... The Blithedale Romance deserves a wider readership than it has had. It is in not the great work that The Scarlet Letter is, but is very wise in its own way, a great tale, and probably more fun. ( )
  lucybrown | Jan 29, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nathaniel Hawthorneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bell, MillicentEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This LT Work consists of Hawthorne's five novels, Fanshawe, The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and The Marble Faun, which are collected in both Library of America (Volume 10) and Library of Essential Writers editions. Please do not combine with any individual novel, or with other anthologies having different contents. Thank you.
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Here in one volume are all five of Nathaniel Hawthorne's world-famous novels. "The House of the Seven Gables" moves across 150 years from an ancestral crime condoned by the Puritan theocracy to a new beginning in the bustling and democratic Jacksonian era. Hawthorne's masterpiece, "The Scarlet Letter," is a dramatic allegory of the social consequences of adultery and the subversive force of personal desire in a community of laws. "The Blithedale Romance" explores the perils, which Hawthorne knew at first hand, of living in a utopian community, and the inextricability of political, personal, and sexual desires. "Fanshawe" is an engrossing apprentice work which Hawthorne published anonymously and later sought to suppress. "The Marble Faun," his last finished novel, involves mystery, murder, and romance among American artists in Rome.

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