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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter (original 1850; edition 1850)

by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas E. Connolly (Notes), Nina Baym (Introduction)

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23,42825947 (3.39)1 / 723
Title:The Scarlet Letter
Authors:Nathaniel Hawthorne
Other authors:Thomas E. Connolly (Notes), Nina Baym (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2003), Trade Paperback
Tags:Z-no review, American lit

Work details

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)

  1. 132
    The Crucible by Arthur Miller (SandSing7, Morteana)
  2. 112
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (chrisharpe)
  3. 30
    Elective Affinities by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (LCBrooks)
    LCBrooks: Allows for interesting comparisons on the subject of double marriage.
  4. 20
    Too Late The Phalarope by Alan Paton (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Sex and guilt in Calvinist cultures.
  5. 20
    Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: Contains a lot of parallels between the two heroines. Acker's '77 novel also contains a scathing deconstruction of Hawthorne's the Scarlet Letter somewhere down the line. If you haven't heard of her, take note. She's worth the attention.
  6. 10
    Elsie Venner A Romance of Destiny by Oliver Wendell Holmes (Midnightdreary)
    Midnightdreary: Similar exploration of the question of sin, inherited or otherwise.
  7. 21
    The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (chrisharpe, kxlly)
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Romans (13)

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English (247)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (259)
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
Somehow I'd never read this book in school, and recently picked it up. I was surprised at the sophistication of the characters' psychology. ( )
  Spencer28 | Oct 21, 2016 |
Somehow I'd never read this book in school, and recently picked it up. I was surprised at the sophistication of the characters' psychology. ( )
  Spencer28 | Oct 21, 2016 |
3 stars ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
I read this book when I was in first year university, when I was just starting to get into classics.

I bought this edition because it was really cheap, only $6.00 or so. So if I didn't like it, what did it matter? But I did like it - I absolutely loved it.

The writing style was a little bit difficult to get into at first, the language is a little bit antiquated but it became easier to read. (I also hadn't read too too many classics at the time, so I was still getting accustomed to the language.)

But I thought it was a worthwhile read. Hawthorne is a such a beautiful writer - I loved watching the characters' lives unfold, and I loved getting to know Hester. She's a brilliant heroine, a single mother, and there's something unassuming and brave about her. I love reading books about women and female characters and their lives, and this book was no exception.

Hawthorne is a classic, gothic, romantic American writer, and I really, really liked this book. I thought it would be good, just like any other classic, but I didn't know how much I'd really enjoy it. c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) is one of those short classics that a reader knows by instinct that it must be a set text somewhere: it has all those themes of sin, guilt, punishment, shame and redemption that not only make the work a timeless classic, but also a wonderful text for literature students to explore. My old paperback edition, (one of the Wordsworth Classics series, still in print but now with slightly different covers), begins by calling it a classic enquiry into the nature of American Puritanism and the New England conscience during the seventeenth century. That doesn’t make it sound very enticing, especially if you’re not American, but if you ignore that and begin reading, it’s a fascinating tale, still relevant today. We might sometimes think that we live in a shameless society, but public condemnation is still feared by many people, and memories are long.
The Scarlet Letter by Merle Hugues (1823-1881) (Source Wikipedia Commons)

The Scarlet Letter by Merle Hugues (1823-1881) (Source Wikipedia Commons)

The plot, should you wish to know it, is outlined in considerable detail at Wikipedia. Hester Prynne is the central character who by order of the Puritan community in which she lives is required to wear a scarlet letter A on her bosom so that all the world may shun her as an adulteress. She has had a child by a man she will not name while her husband, following her from England to the fledgling town of Boston, has been delayed. He turns up in time to witness her shaming, and he sets out to have his revenge on the child’s father.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2015/06/05/the-scarlet-letter-by-nathaniel-hawthorne/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Aug 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
No one who has taken up the Scarlet Letter will willingly lay it down till he has finished it; and he will do well not to pause, for he cannot resume the story where he left it. He should give himself up to the magic power of the style, without stopping to open wide the eyes of his good sense and judgment, and shake off the spell; or half the weird beauty will disappear like a dissolving view. To be sure, when he closes the book, he will feel very much like the giddy and bewildered patient who is just awaking from his first experiment of the effects of sulphuric ether. The soul has been floating or flying between earth and heaven, with dim ideas of pain and pleasure strangely mingled, and all things earthly swimming dizzily and dreamily, yet most beautiful, before the half shut eye. That the author himself felt this sort of intoxication as well as the willing subjects of his enchantment, we think, is evident in many pages of the last half of the volume. His imagination has sometimes taken him fairly off his feet.

» Add other authors (105 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hawthorne, Nathanielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baym, NinaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coetzee, J. M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Connolly, Thomas E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dwiggins, W AIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Francisco, SellénTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harding, BrianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, DickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levin, HarryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marx, LeoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wauters, AnnieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods, and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes.
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This is the main work for The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The Scarlet Letter is about a woman who is an outcast in her community due to her child outside of her marriage. It is the story of her life and the life of her child as they are scorned for their sin while the father looks on blameless. This story is about dealing with guilt and seclusion.

I had heard this story for a while. My father always brought up the "A" that was sewn into Hester's dresses. And I think the story-line is really interesting, but I just didn't really like it. There were whole chapters that I felt were pointless. It was just a really slow read.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553210092, Mass Market Paperback)

Hailed by Henry James as "the finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in the country," Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter reaches to our nation's historical and moral roots for the material of great tragedy. Set in an early New England colony, the novel shows the terrible impact a single, passionate act has on the lives of three members of the community: the defiant Hester Prynne; the fiery, tortured Reverend Dimmesdale; and the obsessed, vengeful Chillingworth.

With The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne became the first American novelist to forge from our Puritan heritage a universal classic, a masterful exploration of humanity's unending struggle with sin, guilt and pride.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:14 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Hester Prynne, a young wife in colonial New England, is sentenced to wear a scarlet "A" on her clothing, as a public acknowledgement of her sin of adultery.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 55 descriptions

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Average: (3.39)
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41 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0142437263, 0143105442, 0141199458

Library of America Paperback Classics

An edition of this book was published by Library of America Paperback Classics.

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Columbia University Press

An edition of this book was published by Columbia University Press.

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100607, 1400108551

Urban Romantics

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