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The Scarlet Letter: A Romance by Nathaniel…

The Scarlet Letter: A Romance (original 1850; edition 1850)

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

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21,56722861 (3.39)1 / 644
Title:The Scarlet Letter: A Romance
Authors:Nathaniel Hawthorne
Other authors:Thomas E. Connolly (Notes), Nina Baym (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2003), Trade Paperback
Collections:Given away or lost
Tags:Historical fiction, Classic, Women, 1800s, love triangles, illegitimate children, Puritans, adultery

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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)

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Showing 1-5 of 218 (next | show all)
I always wondered why I didn't read this school in high school because it is a classic, but I am so thankful that we didn't. I had the hardest time getting interested in The Scarlet Letter. I was bored with it from the start and was rushing through it. The few parts I did end up liking were good while they lasted but there wasn't many of them. The overall plot is pretty good but the writing and the details about things that hold zero significance in the story ruined the plot. I was really confused with the characters in the beginning so I do believe that the drama between the reverend and the doctor seemed random when it wasn't but I didn't realize it until later. I am glad to be done with this book, I sort of liked the plot but I will never reread this. ( )
  GrlIntrrptdRdng | May 14, 2015 |
I felt the need to rate this at least 3 stars simply because the writing was so good. In fact, the only reason I finished it was because I loved the use of creative language. But I just don't have the attention span for these classic books! Please never make me read another one! Except maybe I'll re-read Pride and Prejudice again sometime. And maybe Jane Eyre. Maybe. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
To be honest I was a tad disappointed. I felt like the story didn't really pick up a good pace until the last two chapters. literally.
  mamelotti | Apr 24, 2015 |
The story is slow and, honestly, nothing too exciting happens. The development is minimal. But I suppose I'm the odd man out, because I like The Scarlet Letter very much. It is wordy, chapters are sometimes long and uninvolving, there is a lot of symbolism, many details of emotions and thoughts are explored and sometimes you have to really concentrate to understand the full meaning. Through all this, a fascinating story is told. FYI In other books, Hawthorne was a very boring and wordy author who spent an entire chapter obsessing over a rose bush, for instance. An author too flowery and purple for me to truly enjoy. ( )
  jgcorrea | Apr 24, 2015 |
Most people of todays time don't seem to be able to really get this book. It is written for the time of old when women were homemakers and men ruled all. If things were a sin it was likely a womans fault and everything that happened that wasn't typical was considered either a sign from God or the devils work. So, here we have a story of a very naughty girl who got pregnant out of wedlock. So, by custom she was inprisoned and judged because of her sin. This is where the story begins. She keeps her mouth shut about who helped create this heathen child with her, which shows her own character. Then the story goes through the details of what becomes of her life. The town gossips have their hayday and later in the book people from out of town come to town just to see the girl with the scarlet letter. You see how many people treat her because she chose to not move away but to stay and face her persecutors head on. The whole time she also has to keep seeing her thought to be dead husband who is imitating someone else. All the while she faces many more trials and triumphs them all. She almost gets to run away with her love who fathered her child but circumstances keep that from happening. However slightly sad the ending is, it also ties up many loose ends. Overall, even with some rather drawn out details it is written amazingly well and a great read for anyone. ( )
  jessica_reads | Mar 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 218 (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 (106 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
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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:49 -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)

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Average: (3.39)
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40 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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Urban Romantics

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