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The Scarlet Letter (American Library) by…
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The Scarlet Letter (American Library) (original 1850; edition 1998)

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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23,22325548 (3.39)1 / 711
Member:roblong
Title:The Scarlet Letter (American Library)
Authors:Nathaniel Hawthorne
Info:Longman (1998), Edition: 1, Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, US Fiction

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. 10
    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, Part One 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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Showing 1-5 of 244 (next | show all)
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 |
Well, where do I start... I just finished it moments ago and am still a little baffled as to why I wanted to read this book. Granted it is on my Gilmore Girls Book Challenge and Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list but.... I just don't know. I have to say I was mostly bored by this book. I'm normally pretty interested in Puritanical life in the New World but this just didn't catch my fancy. Finally towards the end when the Reverend was finally stepping up I thought it would get good but nooooooooooo. I won't say any more, spoilers and all that, but man oh man am I glad that book is over. ( )
1 vote pennma05 | Jul 21, 2016 |
wait, was this about that chick named 'tess'? ( )
  Joseph_W_Naus | Jul 20, 2016 |
This is a great example of American Gothic; gloomy forests, crime and punishment dismal but with hope. This book is of its time so some of the language is archaic and may jar with modern readers. The puritans seem to have become so intent on rooting out sin that they have become unforgiving and this blindness is irksome, hence the big read A embroidered on the Heroine's chest to signify adulteress. Some of the writing is beautiful and descriptive but often it is slow going, and overly saccharine and some of the foreshadowing is too obvious for the modern reader. Though as a magnifying glass to look at early puritan settlements this book is without equal even though it is certainly exaggerated for fiction . Some of the inhabitants of the settlement seem without mercy to poor Hestor Prynne though Hawthorne is obviously more so, to me, for at least the book was short. In the intro to the book it is revealed that Hawthorne was descended from one of the Judges who sat on the bench for the Salem Witch trials. This book is his expiation of guilt and possibly his revenge. This book is still a classic and a good link with the past. As an early American Gothic writer I think Washington Irving is better. ( )
  Gary_Power | Jul 10, 2016 |
If you skip the long introduction about the Customs House and cut out all the florid prose there might be enough material left for a short story. I didn't feel a great deal of character development but that could have been due to the poor narration of the audiobook. Not sure if I'll try again with a different format. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 244 (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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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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Audible.com

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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